Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Congress Returns to Washington for Pre-Election Legislation

Drew Thies


Both the House and Senate returned to Capitol Hill this week to wrap up pending legislative issues before the November midterm elections. After traveling their districts and states in the annual August Recess, Members of Congress will be in Washington for what many expect will be a short, relatively uneventful legislative session.

Both Republicans and Democrats are trying to avoid any missteps while in session, the effect of which could be felt strongly when Americans go to the polls on November 4th. The House and Senate will need to at least pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through the elections, however, or they risk a government shutdown akin to what happened in October of last year.

House Republicans released a stopgap spending bill late Tuesday night to keep the government funded through early December. The legislation contains few surprises: extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act and reauthorization of the Import Export bank are of the greatest note. The White House also received $88 million in emergency funding to cope with the Ebola outbreak which worsened while Congress was in recess.

The attempt to punt major budget issues until after the election comes on the heels of the last round of primary elections taking place last night and the ballots now being set in every state. Republicans are hopeful about their chances to increase their majority in the House as well as take control of the Senate, whereas Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats are trying to stave off viable challengers in key swing states, so avoiding turmoil while Members of Congress are in Washington is at the front of everybody’s mind.

Members of Congress will return to their districts the week of September 22nd for the Jewish New Year and will presumably stay on the campaign trail until the election. This is a great time to ask Members of Congress to tour your skilled nursing or assisted living center. Get in touch with Drew Thies (dthies@ahca.org) if you want any more information.

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