Members of Congress return to Washington, DC today after a two-week recess period. Today marks a nine-week work period where at least one chamber will be in session. But the House will recess again in two weeks, the Senate will take off all of Memorial Day week, and the House will take another recess the first week in June. Then both chambers will recess for the week of Fourth of July. After that, there are just four weeks until the five-week August recess, which stretching through the first week in September. That break will be followed by maybe as few as a dozen working days before early October when the House leadership has promised members they can go home to campaign full time for the mid-term elections. The Senate is likely to follow suit.
That’s not much time for genuine legislating, especially given that both parties plan to spend much of the time using the Capitol as a sound stage for their political messaging.
This week, the House is expected to begin considering the first two FY2015 appropriations bills of the season: Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch. The Commerce-Science-Justice measure will be next in the queue, with the House Appropriations subcommittee taking it up Wednesday. Senate appropriators are moving more slowly on their bills but we expect to see a lot of action on appropriations measures between now and the August recess period.