After a month-long recess, Congress is set to return to work on Tuesday with plenty to do. Of all the unfinished business that needs to be resolved, two things top the list. First and foremost, Congress is required to pass 13 separate appropriations bills by October 1st to fund all of the federal departments and agencies for the respective Fiscal Year. In the event that they are unable to do so (as has been the case since 1994) Congress and the President must then agree to a Continuing Resolution which temporarily funds the programs and agencies for which appropriations bills have not been passed.
Secondly, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, established by the recently enacted Budget Control Act must submit their recommendations to the full Congress by November 23. The co-chairs have expressed that they plan to hold their first meeting of the committee soon after Congress reconvenes.
Finally, President Obama will deliver a major jobs speech before a joint session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th, in which he is expected to discuss his plans for getting America back to work.