Lawmakers will try to leave Washington at the end of the week for the home-stretch of campaigning before Election Day. But before Congress recesses, it must first consider President Obama’s request for authority to arm Syrian rebels.
It will be a high-stakes game in Congress this week 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.
President Obama makes a quick trip to Milwaukee, Wis., on Monday to celebrate Labor Day before taking off for Estonia, then Wales for a NATO summit. The situation in Ukraine will be the main topic of conversation at the summit.
President Obama returns from his two-week vacation in Cape Cod, but Congress remains on its summer break. That does not mean Connecticut lawmakers won’t be busy. Rep. Jim Himes, D-5th District, continues his “17 Towns in 17 Days Tour” and other state politicians will be touching base with constituents, too.
Congress is in recess and President Obama is on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, so Washington Watch is on vacation, too. It will return next week.
There must be something in the air in the dog days of summer, when Congress is on its August break, that brings on a crisis in Washington.
Congress is on a month-long August break with a lot of unfinished business to face when it reconvenes in September. This includes an immigration bill acceptable to both chambers and the White House, and a way to fund the federal government past the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.
Lawmakers will wrestle with responses to the ongoing border crisis and escalation of Ukraine tensions following the downing of a Malaysian commercial airliner, while also trying to complete work on a highway bill and a Department of Veterans Affairs reform bill before August recess.
A big problem for Congress this week will be finding a fix for the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for the lion’s share of most transportation projects but is running out of money. The House of Representatives plans to hold a vote on a short-term solution that would keep the trust fund solvent until May, but the Senate wants a six-year bill.
Congress returns from July 4th recess with no more than 20 days of work scheduled before its month-long August recess. But a ramp up of hostilities between the White House and congressional Republicans over immigration and other issues makes it harder than ever to get much done.
The House and Senate will be out next week for Independence Day break. Connecticut’s lawmakers have therefore ramped up events in the state. The Supreme Court will issue two important rulings this week and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet will visit the White House.
The House and Senate will try to cram in as much work as possible this week before they leave town for the Independence Day holiday. But partisan bickering over spending bills to fund the federal government and a final veteran’s health care bill may hurt chances of much being accomplished.
House and Senate will face a lot of pressure this week to agree on a final veteran’s health care bill. But that debate is likely to be overshadowed by events in Iraq.
The House of Representatives is in recess this week, so look for stepped up activities in the state for members of Connecticut’s House delegation.
Connecticut’s defense industry will be watching as the House Armed Services Committee (Rep. Joe Courtney) releases the National Defense Authorization Act — and funding for all weapons systems for the year.