Congressional Cheatsheet, Fall 2015

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Congress is back with a full fall schedule: Iran deal, budget and debt ceiling, the Pope’s visit and more. We’ll dig in.

The west front of the U.S. Capitol is seen under repair and in the reflecting pool, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Washington. (AP)
The west front of the U.S. Capitol is seen under repair and in the reflecting pool, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Washington. (AP)

Congress is back. With all the steak fries and county fairs behind them. And a whole lot of big business right in their laps. President Obama may be going around Congress every chance he gets, but there are limits. A lot of roads go right through Capitol Hill. First up, right away, the Iran nuclear deal. He’s got the votes to make it happen, but they’ve got the microphone. Then, spending and Planned Parenthood funding versus all the rest of government. Then highways and taxes and trade, the Pope, and a whole lot more in not much time. This hour On Point: Congress and a lot to do in a hurry.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Bob Cusack, editor in chief at The Hill. (@BobCusack)

Kelsey Snell, Congressional reporter for the Washington Post. (@kelsey_snell)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), junior US Senator from Arizona. (@jeffflake)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), senior US Senator from Florida. (@senbillnelson)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Hill: Immigration reformers seize on Pope Francis’s visit — "Immigration reformers on and off of Capitol Hill are hoping Pope Francis's visit to Washington this month will serve as a catalyst for ending immigrant detentions. The Obama administration has stirred a whirlwind of criticism for expanding its detention of illegal immigrant families in response to last summer's migrant surge — a policy many Democrats and human rights advocates have condemned as harmful to the health of the women and children being held."

Washington Post: Republicans won’t be able to defund Planned Parenthood. But they might shut down the government anyway. — "The last thing Republican leaders want is another shutdown quagmire. But a group of conservatives — led by GOP presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — has vowed to oppose any government spending bill that includes Planned Parenthood funds. That includes a stop-gap spending bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that needs to pass before Sept. 30."

USA Today: 5 perilous issues for Boehner when Congress returns —  "House Speaker John Boehner is no Tom Cruise, but he may be starring in his own version of Mission Impossible this fall, a legislative thriller filled with perilous political predicaments. When Congress returns from its August recess, the Ohio Republican will have to navigate fiscal cliffs, quash internal rebellions, and maybe even defuse rhetorical grenades lobbed from the presidential campaign trail."

This program aired on September 8, 2015.


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