What Congress Will Address this Fall
When We return to Washington, DC next week, the House and Senate will have a few very important tasks at hand.
First, we will be facing a September 30 deadline to fund the government. The House has passed five appropriations bills, and all 12 appropriations bills have passed committee. The House will be working to get the remaining appropriations bills passed and to the Senate.
Unfortunately, the Senate has not passed any appropriations bills. This is crucial. Without the Senate passing any appropriations bills, Congress will be forced to pass some form of a short term funding bill, possibly a continuing resolution (CR), to fund the government until after the election.
If a short term CR is passed, then following the election, both the House and Senate will work to pass appropriations for the next year. Without both chambers passing appropriations, the Congress will be forced into another CR, or other combined funding bill until the new President is inaugurated, or through the next fiscal year. Neither is ideal. Funding our government through regular order of passing appropriations bills is what is best, and is exactly what the House is doing!
Another must do when we return is finalizing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congress always passes an NDAA, and I don’t see any reason why that would change this year. The House has passed its version, and the Senate passed its version, and conference will begin on the bills when we return. While I am not a Conferee for NDAA, I will be working with Chairman Thornberry to try and keep many of the House version provisions in the NDAA, especially the language based on my READI Act that will not allow illegal immigrants to be temporarily housed on military installations.
Before we left for our district work period in late July, I was proud to have my POLICE Act passed by both the House and Senate, and signed by the President. This is a great accomplishment in our current political climate, and is even better for our local and state emergency responders. The POLICE Act will allow for active shooter training as a criteria for applying for COPS grants. This will allow more of our first responders the opportunity to participate in this specialized training that has proven to save lives during active shooter situations.