Congress returned from its five-week August recess, and it was an interesting week. Syria was supposed to be on the top of its agenda, but was sidelined after new diplomatic overtures delayed consideration of any resolutions to use force. That allowed lawmakers to prepare for their fiscal fights later this fall. They will need to produce legislation funding the government by the end of the month and raise the debt ceiling by the middle of October.
There are many moving parts to the debates on economic policy later this year, but one of the biggest impasses is Obamacare. The President is determined to protect his signature legislation and Republicans are hoping to gut its funding and delay implementation.
The Syrian crisis produced a quirky alliance of libertarian Republicans and liberal Democrats who were united in opposition to military action. Their refusal to fight was effective: Is it a harbinger of unified action in the future?
The Syrian crisis and the budget battles are enough to give any lawmaker a headache, but they should take comfort in the fact that their approval rating is the highest it has been in a year.
And the legislature has something else to celebrate: Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s newborn daughter was delivered alive, despite having been diagnosed with the normally fatal Potter’s Syndrome. The child will remain hospitalized for six months.