Congress returns, time growing short

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 7, 2014 

The Senate returns Monday, and the House of Representatives is back Tuesday, but don’t expect a lot of big legislation to be moving quickly. If at all.

Lawmakers plan to remain in Washington, minus weekend breaks, until the end of the month. July is likely to be the last big month for any legislative activity. Congress is off in August. When the House returns Sept. 8, it has 12 more legislative days scheduled until the November election. The Senate is likely to have a similar schedule.

July is likely to be full of legislation aimed at solving, or at least temporarily solving, pressing issues. House and Senate negotiators are trying to work out legislation to address problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The federal highway trust fund is in danger of running out of funds next month. And the immigration crisis at the southern border will get a lot of attention.

Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the crisis, featuring Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

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