Congress Returns To DC And Faces A Long Agenda

Lawmakers went back to work on Sept. 9 after their summer recess.

Congress Returns To DC And Faces A Long Agenda
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Congress got back to work Monday, and there's a lot on their to-do list. 

One thing on the agenda has a hard deadline — passing a budget. Congress has until Oct. 1 to approve funding levels for the next fiscal year. The House has already passed almost all of the annual appropriations bills, and senators will start their own review this week. If lawmakers can't come to an agreement, then we could face another government shutdown. But the House is already taking steps to prevent that. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has already talked about passing a short-term spending bill that would keep the government funded until Nov. 22.

Gun legislation is also expected to be a key issue. In the five plus weeks that both chambers were on summer break, the mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Odessa, Texas happened, killing 38 people. The House passed a universal background check bill in February, but, so far, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to consider it in the upper chamber. 

For House Republicans, they think trade should become the number one issue. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement still needs congressional approval. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said approving that would also help the ongoing trade negotiations with China. 

The march toward impeachment proceedings is also ongoing. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on some ground rules for their investigation. A growing number of House Democrats have voiced their support for impeachment, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been resistant to the idea.