Lawmakers are often a raucous bunch when they’re together, but Capitol Hill remains unusually quiet after the Labor Day holiday. Most members of Congress are still back in their home districts this week.
Look for the quiet to end abruptly when the Senate and House are gaveled back in session next week.
While every representative in the House and one-third of our senators are intensely focused on their own individual reelection campaigns, Congress faces a whopping agenda for such a short period before the November elections. On tap for lawmakers to tackle are the enactment of the U.S. federal government’s next budget; several competing measures to fashion a jobs-creation bill; extension (or not) of the Bush tax cuts; enactment of a small business tax-incentive package; and passage of the ICBA-supported $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund.
All these measures have enormous campaign repercussions. And these are just the big items!!
The formal congressional schedule has the Senate and House adjourning in early October—that is probably optimistic. Look for both chambers to be wrestling with legislation after the election in a “lame duck” session at least until Thanksgiving—and probably beyond. Between now and the election lawmakers are likely to bounce back and forth between Washington and campaign events in their home districts.
Washington’s summer quiet season is nearly over. Get ready for another historic and contentious legislative session and campaign season.