Alongside Labor Day, another sign of summer’s end appears when Congress reconvenes from its August recess. That happens today.
The Associated Press has a list of pending issues the body will tackle, many of which must be resolved in short order:
—The 12 annual spending bills that fund the government remain in limbo over disparate disputes, from the Confederate flag to defense budgets. Congress is likely to approve a measure that would keep the government operating temporarily, which leaders hope they can do by Pope Francis’ address to lawmakers Sept. 24. Conservatives insist they will not back legislation financing Planned Parenthood; the group is under fire after its officials were secretly recorded discussing how they obtain fetal tissue for research.
—The government’s ability to pay its bills expires around Oct. 30, so Congress will have to extend the government’s borrowing authority by then or face a first-ever federal default. That probably means there will be demands and drama attached to that showdown.
That sense of déjà vu in the pit of your gut is justified. We’re about to have the same old arguments all over again, kind of like a national version of Thanksgiving dinner.