<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=769125799912420&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
About Our People Legal Stuff Careers
Capitol building

Here are five things Congress must deal with as lawmakers return from recess


Lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday after several weeks away on August recess. With just 12 legislative days left in September and a string of deadlines looming, lawmakers will have to hit the ground running to get everything accomplished on time.

Here's five things Congress has to do when they get back.

1. Pass funding for Harvey relief

Conception Casa, center, and his friend Jose Martinez, right, check on Rhonda Worthington after her car became stuck in rising floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The two men were evacuating their home that had become flooded when they encountered Worthington's car floating off the road. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Lawmakers will likely need to pass a massive emergency spending bill to help rebuild parts of Texas that have been devastated by severe flooding and other damages from Hurricane Harvey.

Congress also needs to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which helps provide insurance for millions of homeowners and businesses. Lawmakers have been trying to overhaul the program, which is $25 billion in debt from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy relief.

The costs to repair damages from Harvey could overwhelm the program.

2. Raise the debt ceiling

The U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Congress has to pass a measure to raise the limit on the nation's borrowing before Sept. 29 in order to allow the U.S. Treasury to continue borrowing in order to pay off the nation's debts. If Congress doesn't raise the limit, it could trigger a constitutional crisis by forcing the Treasury to borrow above the limits of the law. Missing the deadline could also cause international markets to plummet.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has asked Congress to pass a clean debt ceiling hike, meaning lawmakers would raise the limit without attaching any conditions like budget cuts. But fiscal conservatives may try to hold up the process and insist on some cuts to reign in U.S. spending.

3. Find solutions on health care

Congress Health Overhaul
Demonstrators rally outside of the Capitol as the Republican majority in Congress remains stymied by their inability to fulfill their political promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare" because of opposition and wavering within the GOP ranks, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Republicans are still trying to cobble together a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and senators will hold bipartisan hearings the week they return to try to come up with a solution to fix the bill.

But insurance companies have to decide by Sept. 27 whether they will offer plans on the Obamacare exchanges in 2018, and without certainty from Congress on insurance regulations, many insurers are worried the costs of staying in the markets will be too great.

4. Deal with DACA

Trump Immigration
FILE- In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, a woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally at the White House in Washington. After months of delays, President Donald Trump is expected to decide soon on the fate of so called “dreamers” who were brought into the country illegally as children as he faces a looming court deadline and is digging in on appeals to his base. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Ten attorneys general from conservative states have asked President Trump to rescind protections President Obama designated under the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program by Tuesday.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to end the program immediately but has since walked back his stance, saying it's a "very, very hard" choice. He could kick the decision to Congress, triggering a tough immigration battle for conservatives who have pledged to be tough on illegal immigration, but could lose seats if the program is rescinded.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced legislation to protect children who were brought to the country illegally by their parents, also called "Dreamers."

5. Avoid a shutdown

YE Budget Battle
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - A US Park Police officer watches at left as a National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law stalled a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800, 000 federal workers off the job and suspending most non-essential federal programs and services. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Congress needs to pass a federal spending bill by Sept. 30 or the government will shut down. Thousands of government workers will be told to stay at home until lawmakers can reach a deal.

Usually Congress is able to get something passed, albeit at the last minute, but Trump is complicating things this time by insisting on funding for a border wall. Trump has said he won't sign a budget that doesn't include money for the wall.

Lawmakers will likely choose to kick the can down the road and pass a continuing resolution to keep funding levels the same until a later date.

Read Comments
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark