Congress Returns & Will be Busy


481px-Seal_of_the_United_States_CongressCongress returned to D.C. this week after the August recess with several important bills to try and move forward quickly. The legislative list is long, and time is short, as both the House and Senate are in session at the same time for just 12 days in September. The federal fiscal year ends on September 30th, and another Continuing Resolution (CR) would be needed to avoid a government shutdown on October 1st.  It is widely expected that Congress will approved a CR for a few more months of federal funding, so a government shutdown is not likely (for the moment). Additionally, the debt ceiling needs to be raised by September 29th, and an emergency supplemental disaster relief funding is needed for recovery from Hurricane Harvey (and likely for Hurricane Irma and who knows about Hurricane Jose?). So it’s going to be a complicated September in Congress to say the least.
However, several recent media outlets have reported that a deal was reached on the debt ceiling issue.  A recent Washington Post story details the deal that was reached earlier in the week between President Trump and Democratic leadership to repeal the debt ceiling and break the cycle of having to increase the debt ceiling on a regular basis. The Senate voted on Thursday afternoon to increase the debt ceiling for three months and extend government funding, as well as provide more than $15 billion for hurricane recovery. The House voted early Friday morning to pass the bill. One can hope that other legislative deals on long-term federal funding and other important issues can be reached in the near future.