Congress back in session

Hillary Wicai Sep 5, 2006
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Congress back in session

Hillary Wicai Sep 5, 2006
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The August recess is over for Senators. The House returns on Thursday. Senators have their work cut out from them on next year’s budget. But despite the heavy work load Marketplace’s Hillary Wicai says not much will get done.


HILLARY WICAI: Lawmakers just have three weeks in Washington before they head home again, and the Senate has only passed one of its 12 spending bills.

The House has passed all but one.

Budget analyst Stan Collender with Qorvis Communications says politicians are likely feeling more election stress than budget pressure.

With so many incumbents worried about their campaigns, he says lawmakers will do what they can to avoid difficult votes.

STAN COLLENDER: So basically Congress is gonna do as little as possible and that means the individual spending bills will be kept on the shelf. Congress’ll pass a big omnibus stop-gap continuing resolution so no one will be able to see who voted for what or what individual decisions will be made until after the election.

A continuing resolution would keep things funded at ’06 levels and keep the government running.

Collender estimates it would be close to Christmas before Congress passes the spending bills.

And some lawmakers expect that several of the spending bills may get lumped together into a big omnibus bill.

In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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