Ahead of Fall Election, Congress Has a Lengthy To-Do List

(AP) —
House Speaker Paul Ryan, shown here speaking to reporters at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill last week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Speaker Paul Ryan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress has a long to-do list when lawmakers return from a seven-week recess Tuesday, but it’s unclear if much of it will get done.

Presidential politics will hover over all business in the month before lawmakers leave Washington again to go home and campaign. They’re unlikely to make any progress on agenda items like gun control, trade, criminal justice or the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice.

A few items on the shortened to-do list:


Funding for the government expires Oct. 1 and policy disputes between the two parties have kept the House and Senate from passing spending bills. As in past years, this means that lawmakers will have to pass short-term legislation to extend current spending and keep the government open.


A political debate has stalled legislation to provide $1.1 billion to help the government combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus. This legislation will remain a priority as dozens of Zika cases have been confirmed in Florida since Congress left in July.


A House-Senate conference committee is trying to finish work on a defense policy bill that could require young women to sign up for the draft for the first time.


Republicans in Congress are pushing the Justice Department to open a new a new investigation into whether Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lied during testimony last year before a House panel investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.


Republicans are expected to pass legislation addressing the Obama administration’s $400 million payment to Iran in January, made immediately after four U.S. prisoners were released.


House conservatives are aiming to try and force IRS Commissioner John Koskinen out of office, saying Koskinen stonewalled and impeded congressional investigations into the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.

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