Last week, Congress focused on finalizing a deal on government spending that would keep the government running beyond the September 30 deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hoped to have a deal done by midweek and pass the Senate’s version by Friday, but things had hit a snag during the middle of the week, which caused the negotiations to continue into the weekend. With those efforts continuing, McConnell has set up a procedural vote for H.R. 5325, the bill that will serve as a vehicle for the continuing resolution. Some issues that still remain unresolved include whether to include disaster aid for Louisiana and other states ravaged by severe flooding and a provision to block the transition to Internet oversight by an international organization. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said that he believes that funding to combat the Zika virus will be a part of the continuing resolution.
The Senate also continued its consideration of the Water Resources Development Act. It spent most of the early week considering amendments and cloture votes and finally passed the bill Thursday afternoon in an overwhelming vote, 95-3. The measure authorizes dozens of water-related infrastructure projects and contains $220 million in direct funding to address the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Last week in the House, leadership dealt with an ongoing issue that involved much of the Freedom Caucus. They were trying to force an impeachment vote for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but leadership was able to avoid that agreeing that the House Judiciary Committee will consider his impeachment. It looks as if it is unlikely that any vote on his impeachment will happen before the November elections. It is a win for leadership as they are trying to focus on the upcoming September 30 deadline for passing the continuing resolution on government spending.