WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill Monday after breaking for an unusually eventful August.
Lawmakers face upcoming battles over gun-control, impeachment and the budget with yet another government shutdown looming at the end of this month.
Lawmakers have been filing back in all afternoon for a short fall session that could be the last chance for compromise before an even more partisan 2020 begins.
A ceremonial start brought lawmakers together while the issues they’re facing push them further apart.
Top Democrats are calling on President Trump to defy the NRA and support gun legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) stated, “Mr. President, the time to act is now”
“This is our number one priority to save lives,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.)
The president expressed sorrow and gratitude in a ceremony honoring heroes of the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings but there was no policy guidance
“We’re talking about a lot of things,” the president said. “But we need to protect the Second Amendment.”
New polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support gun background checks and red flag laws for people deemed a threat.
Another urgent matter is a new spending bill.
With just three weeks until another government shutdown, the fight for priorities is underway.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D- IL) said, “How much money, for example, is going to be given to Health and Human Services for medical research as opposed to given to the president in a blank check for a wall.”
Another stopgap measure is expected to keep the government running until the parties agree on a final deal. But agreement will be hard to come by if House Democrats continue a push for impeachment.
Multiple House committees are investigating issues from obstruction of justice to the president publicly encouraging people to stay at his hotels.
It’s an agenda full of critical issues that will take compromise in a deeply divided Congress.
Lawmakers are also hoping for progress on trade and lowering prescription drug costs.
And they’ll have to act fast. The House only has 45 legislative days left in the year, the Senate: 53.