Many Issues Remain for Congress to Address

By Laura Walling, GII senior director of government affairs, advocacy & legislative affairs

After reaching the budget deal that we shared last week, both the House and Senate are in recess until after Labor Day. Typically, lawmakers spend their summer break back in the district, meeting with constituents, hosting town halls, and even touring local Goodwill® organizations to see the mission in action. Some take trips overseas with fellow lawmakers while others may be a part of Congressional committees, which host field hearings around the country. One such hearing will be held in Los Angeles by the House Financial Services Committee, examining the homelessness crisis. The tragic events in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX had the House Judiciary Committee considering a return to Washington, DC to mark-up certain gun control legislation.

Congress will face a number of priorities when lawmakers return in September. The first action item will be to fund the government before the fiscal year ends on September 30th. The House has passed a number of appropriations bills, but the Senate has yet to get started. Conference committees will have to negotiate differences between House and Senate bills. The short timeframe makes the passage of a continuing resolution more likely and necessary to avert another government shutdown.

A number of nominations also await the Senate upon their return, including the nomination of Eugene Scalia as the Department of Labor Secretary. Of 730 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, 130 have no nominees, 6 are awaiting nomination, and 100 have been nominated and are making their way through the confirmation process.

Among other topics that lawmakers may address, include infrastructure and immigration in addition to reauthorizing certain bills, including the National Defense Authorization Act, Higher Education Act, and Small Business Act. The Goodwill Industries International government relations team will continue to keep advocates informed of any pertinent updates in all of these areas.

You can also follow us on Twitter @GoodwillCapHill to stay informed.