The Congress returns this week for what promises to be a very challenging and unpredictable two-months. Before Congress leaves for the August summer break, they will attempt to deal with most of the 2018 appropriations, raise the debt ceiling, vote out a Senate version of an ACA repeal, continue dealing with the ongoing hearings/controversies on the Russian involvement in last year’s campaign, fill at least some of more than 400 key Administration vacancies and deal with or start a debate on tax reform and mandatory budget cuts.
The House calendar indicates that the House of Representatives will have just 35 legislative days between now and the August break. The Senate is likely to track the House schedule closely. There are many other issues that could pop up. For example, if a Supreme Court member announces their retirement after they finish this month. It is also unpredictable what the various hearing will do to the congressional workload. Any number of controversies could draw all of Washington’s attention and impact the Administration’s ability to influence legislative action. The following articles discuss some of the key challenges for June-July: