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Hill Looks Toward Quick September Session

Tuesday, September 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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After a five-week recess, Congress returned to work Sept. 8 with the hope of averting a government shutdown before rushing back to the campaign trail. With many close elections anticipated and Congressional approval ratings in the single digits, Congressional members are currently spending more time trying to get reelected than they are on legislative work.

On paper, the September congressional calendar suggests that both chambers plan on meeting every day this week (the week of Sept. 8). The House is scheduled to break Sept. 19 for a week to celebrate Rosh Hashanah Sept. 24. If necessary, the House will return Sept. 29, but will then leave town again almost immediately until after the election. The Senate plans to keep Senators working through Sept. 23 and not return until after Election Day.

So… with Congress working 15 additional days before the election, what can we expect? House Republicans are expected to offer a short-term spending plan to keep the government working until early December. Final appropriations bills will not be considered until the lame duck session following the elections. It’s unclear if the stop-gap spending plan will include reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which is important to many boat manufacturers with international sales. The federal bank provides loan guarantees to foreign purchases of American goods (i.e., boats). Neo-conservatives are opposed to the bank’s reauthorization, however, making movement questionable at this time.