Congress is back.
After a five-week recess that included time for both national party conventions, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are set to reconvene today.
But that doesn’t mean anything important is going to get done. In fact, many here seem to believe the September legislative session is going to be brief, unproductive, contentious and politically motivated with the Nov. 6 election on the horizon.
A smattering of media reports:
Congress doesn’t have plans to do much legislating in the highly political pre-election season before November other than keeping the government running past Sept. 30. And after September, lawmakers will mainly be campaigning rather than dealing with the major fiscal questions that must be resolved before Jan. 1.
New York Times — Congress Comes Back to a Face-Off With Angry Farmers
But lawmakers, fresh off their parties’ conventions, appear to favor action on other bills that emphasize their political agendas over actual lawmaking. … The renewal of a usually uncontroversial measure to protect women from domestic violence seems hopelessly stalled, as does legislation to fix the postal system. Some of those issues, as well as tax measures, seem bound for the lame-duck pileup after the November election.
Politico — Lawmakers get back to doing nothing
To add more fuel to the “do-nothing Congress” label, at least one chamber — the Democratic-led Senate — could adjourn as early as Sept. 21 for another seven-week recess, coming on the heels of the five-week August recess. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be playing “prevent defense” through the Nov. 6 election, GOP aides said.
— Michael Levine