Washington Watch, Week of Sept. 7

Washington Watch bugCongress returns from its summer break for a few weeks of work before it takes another long recess in October so members can campaign for re-election.

It will be a high-stakes game as lawmakers tackle a long list of priorities, including approval of a budget that would keep the government running past the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, and a temporary renewal of the charter for the Export Import Bank, a government entity that helps finance foreign purchases of U.S. goods.

President Obama will return to Washington from a trip to Europe, where he attended a NATO meeting.

Obama’s policy toward Syria and Iraq will also get a thorough review by Congress this week as will the shooting of a black teenager by police in Ferguson, Mo.

Monday Sept. 8:

The Senate will begin consideration of a long-shot proposed change to the Constitution that would rein in political spending by limiting the influence of wealthy donors.

Tuesday, Sept. 9:

Senate Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on a Pentagon program that donates excess military equipment to local police departments.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the state of VA health care. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is a committee member.

Also on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the National Archives to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.

Wednesday, Sept. 10:

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the threat of Islamic militants who have taken credit for the beheading of two U.S. journalists. The hearing is entitled “One Flight Away: An Examination of the Threat posed by ISIS Terrorists with Western Passports.”

 Thursday, Sept. 11:

President Obama  and White House staff will gather on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence to mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama will then travel to the Pentagon Memorial to attend the September 11th Observance Ceremony.