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
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.