Congress Is Back, as Shutdown Deadline Looms

Zika funding is another big issue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 6, 2016 12:02 PM CDT
Congress Is Back, as Shutdown Deadline Looms
House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress is back to work Tuesday after its summer recess, and the Washington Post reports that one issue is paramount: avoiding a government shutdown in an election year. The fiscal year ends September 30, meaning the House and Senate will need to pass a continuing resolution in less than a month to keep the government open. This time around, the big sticking point is how long such a resolution would last: Conservatives want a six-month deal that would push the larger money fight into 2017, under a new president and Congress. Democrats, however, are pushing for a shorter resolution that would require a lame-duck Congress to return after the election to hammer out a spending package.

Beyond that, a slew of other issues are on the agenda, most notably funding to curb the spread of Zika, reports Politico. Before the summer recess, a bill stalled in the Senate as Democrats objected to GOP demands that money come out of Ebola research and ObamaCare. Since then, Zika has begun to spread locally in Florida, ramping up pressure to act, notes USA Today. Also on the radar, per NBC News: A House GOP push to impeach IRS chief John Koskinen over his agency's perceived political bias, determining whether Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will get a hearing in the Senate, and a House vote on a measure designed to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. (More Congress stories.)

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