Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Welcome back, Congress. Now hurry up and go!

This week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate returned to Washington from their August recess with a laser-like focus on funding the government beyond Sept. 30, which is the end of the 2014 fiscal year and when the current continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government expires.

Eager to leave Washington again to hit the campaign trail ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections, your representatives are left with very little time to reach consensus on a long-term funding solution. The expected action at this point is to pass a short-term extension of the CR lasting until Dec. 11, giving Congress more time to argue about funding, delaying the hard decisions on long-term funding until the lame-duck session after midterms, and enabling Congress to avoid a government shutdown.

Following President Obama’s speech this week, Congress also is now considering using the CR to give the U.S. military the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels in their fight against the Islamic State, as the president proposed. With that request and its consideration by Congress pending, it remains unclear as to when the House and Senate will recess again. For now, it appears that Congress could remain in Washington until the week of Sept. 22.

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