The Thanksgiving holiday fell later this year, which caused retailers great alarm since there would be six fewer shopping days left between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Congress is also running out of time between the holidays to accomplish their year-end goals, and yet they aren’t feeling the same level of angst. While many employees had to leave the dinner table and spend time away from their families in order to get to work, members of Congress certainly weren’t cutting their vacations short in order to come back to the DC office.
There are a number of unfinished items to work on but given that the holidays are upon us, I feel the highlights are best depicted as the Twelve Numbers of Congress. Sing along if you’d like.
- The first item of Congress that matters to me: one more round of sequestration cuts could go into effect.
- The second item of Congress that matters to me: two years that the Farm Bill is overdue for reauthorization.
Okay, so the song is off to a rocky start but you know how it goes. Here are the remaining numbers:
- Three percentage points that the unemployment rate has dropped since its peak in October 2009.
- Four budget proposals from President Obama that have not been submitted by the early February deadline.
- Five days that the House and Senate will be in session together before break.
- Six days to strike a deal when Congress returns in 2014 before a government shutdown.
- Seven Senators who have announced retirement in 2014.
- Eight days until the deadline for the budget conference.
- Nine percent of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing.
- Ten House members announced they are running for Senate next year.
- Eleven months until the next election.
- Twelve spending bills that need to be approved during the normal appropriations process.