WASHINGTON — Don't expect sweeping legislation from House Republicans in the last congressional working days before the midterm elections.
Republican leadership released Thursday their schedule for the brief, 10-day session set to begin next week — lawmakers expect to be briefed on the threat posed by ISIS by the Obama administration. But absent from the schedule is planned debate over authorization for military action in Iraq and potentially Syria, which has become a rallying cry for some in both parties in recent weeks.
Nor will Republicans pursue any legislation on police militarization or immigration policy changes in the brief, upcoming legislative session.
The 10-day work period for Congress is the last before the November midterm election — the brief time means only a few things can get done, and a few must (like a resolution to keep the government funded).
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined the September schedule in a memo to lawmakers circulated Thursday. According to the memo, the House will take up a package of jobs bills, a comprehensive energy policy package, and legislation to continue funding the federal government at current levels through the election.
If the September legislative line-up seems familiar, it should: virtually every bill included in the jobs and energy packages has already been passed by the House.
The Obamacare measure — sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a tight Senate race against Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu — is also similar to a measure passed earlier this session. Although it is not a full repeal of the law, it would make it possible for people to keep their existing health care plans.
Even the continuing resolution will simply extend current funding levels. While conservatives are mulling including language barring the White House from implementing changes to the deportation process through executive action, leadership aides predicted members' desire to avoid a government shutdown will trump anger over immigration.
There are a handful of new measures that will be taken up this month — none of which will see action in the Senate but all of which are solid base-stroking measures, including a resolution condemning the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and a package of bills addressing the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits.
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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