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Congress Is Back! What’s On The Agenda?

Avoiding Government Shutdown And Zika Fight

Congress has just returned to Washington after their seven week summer recess, and they have a few major challenges heading up to the November election.

The Democrats again voted down a Republican bill which would have given emergency funding for the fight against the Zika virus outbreak. The bill was blocked because it would have prevented funding for Planned Parenthood, and it would have removed the provision banning Confederate flags in veteran’s cemeteries. If Congress can’t get this Zika-specific funding approved, then it will likely be added into a broader budget later.

The largest item on the agenda is avoiding a government shutdown by the time the budget runs out on September 30th. There must be Congressional action on appropriations by that date, or it would be an embarrassment right before the elections.

But what would the continuing resolution entail?

The outcome depends on the Republicans. To get something approved, Republicans have to concede to some Democratic demands to get their votes for a short term measure. A longer term measure is likely to be rejected by Democrats and the White House, and would lead to a shut down.