Congress Returns, Plans to Do Bare Minimum
Expect six-month budget extension, little else
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
This July 28, 2011 file photo shows the Capitol Dome on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Congress is back in Washington for a brief pre-election session, and you know what that means: dithering, finger-pointing, and inaction! Despite the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming in January, Congress intends to do as little as possible this session, most likely voting only on a six-month stopgap budget that will stop the government from shutting down on Sept. 30. "Everyone wants to get out of town—fast," one top Senate aide tells Reuters.

Congress also has a five-year farm bill still on its plate, but it now seems likely Congress will punt and extend the old bill instead—and it might not even manage that, the AP reports. If they fail, programs like food stamps would expire Sept. 30. But lawmakers can definitely be relied on to cast a few purely political votes; House Republicans, for instance, are readying the "No More Solyndras Act," while Democrats hope for force another vote on Paul Ryan's budget.