Congress struggles with full agenda before November elections

CBS News

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lawmakers return to Washington Tuesday facing a daunting to-do list after being on recess for seven weeks, but the outcome of the election will likely determine their top priorities.

The most critical items facing Congress are keeping the government funded and addressing the Zika virus by allocating more funding.

Republicans will spend their time shining a spotlight on Hillary Clinton — on her use of private email servers as secretary of state, on the Clinton Foundation and her role at the State Department and more…

For now, lawmakers will consider a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that would extend 2016 funding levels for a few extra months. Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, tells CBS News he believes lawmakers might try to tack on some Zika funding to this measure as well as emergency disaster funding for Louisiana to use in its flood recovery efforts.

The question is, however, when the bill would expire. Congressional Democrats and the White House would like to pass a short-term CR in September that would last through sometime in December at which point lawmakers would pass a more comprehensive package that would last until Sept. 30, 2017. A group of conservatives, however, want a CR to expire next year, once a new president and new Congress are in office.

KEYWORDS: 114TH CONGRESS, 2016, BILL HOAGLAND, HILLARY CLINTON, ZIKA VIRUS