The wheels of government usually grind very slowly. That’s by design, but it also reflects the diversity of the country. Citizens living in rural areas have different needs and wants than those in urban or suburban areas.
As we have seen, residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Florida have different needs from those in California or Maine or Minnesota. That means different priorities in Congress for the Senators and Representatives who those voters send to Washington.
Once Congress does officially return they have a major amount of work to do with little time to do it.
Among the things on the agenda will be passage of a fiscal year 2022 budget to fund the federal government, which is supposed to be passed by September 30, the end of the fy2021 fiscal year. However, it has become routine that the deadline is not met and instead they pass stopgap funding bills until they can finally agree on legislation to fully fund the government – something that sometimes takes until well into the next calendar year to accomplish.
On top of that, they are facing a deadline to raise the debt ceiling, which limits the amount of money the federal government can borrow to pay its bills.
Then there is the President’s infrastructure bill, which right now includes a provision to lower prescription drug prices, and which Democrats believe is a must-pass item for them this fall. They believe it’s a bill that would keep their campaign pledges to the American people and which, if not passed this year, will not pass prior to the elections next year. Since many observers think the Democrats are in danger of losing their majorities next year this is likely the last chance they’ll have to accomplish this goal while they have their majorities.
But there are problems ahead.