Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Congress recesses until September; post-recess preview

Congress has headed home for the August recess and will return after Labor Day, with the Senate scheduled to return on Sept. 5 followed by the House’s return on Sept. 12.

Both chambers left Washington with much work to be done, especially on the federal budget, ensuring busy legislative sessions when lawmakers return next month.

The House approved one spending bill, the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bill, ahead of the recess. The Senate advanced all 12 funding bills out of committee but none received a final vote before the congressional break.

Congress must pass all 12 appropriations bills to fund the government and avoid a shutdown on Sept. 30. While a stop-gap spending bill is a possibility to keep the government running, reaching a consensus would likely be difficult given partisan divisions and holdouts, particularly from House members of the Freedom Caucus. Spending caps included in the debt-limit deal that passed earlier this year aimed to make the budget process smoother in a divided Congress, but partisanship and contentious issues have complicated the process.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization will also be a top priority when lawmakers return in September. The current FAA bill is set to expire on Sept. 30. After several failed controversial amendments, the House passed an FAA bill at the end of July. Now, it is the Senate’s turn to act on FAA reauthorization, where revisions to pilot training, added long-haul flights at Reagan National Airport, and increased minimum wage for airport workers are expected to be debated.

With September set to be a busy month in Washington, the August recess is an excellent time to engage with your members of Congress while they are home in their districts. Attend a town hall or reach out to the district office to schedule a meeting to educate your members on NALC’s priority issues.

You can find your House representative's contact information here and your Senators’ contact information here.

Click here to familiarize yourself with NALC’s priority legislation, check if your members of Congress are cosponsoring NALC’s bills, and access fact sheets.

If you have any questions, please contact your NALC legislative and political organizer.

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