Deadline Time in Congress Again

The new fiscal year for the federal government begins October 1 and Congress has approved exactly none of the 12 annual spending bills. And next week is back to recess time.

So the "solution" is a stopgap bill this week to keep the government running. But in today’s world of not being able to agree on anything, there is dispute over this all-too-common emergency procedure. Some say there is not enough disaster aid in the proposal.

On a slightly more positive side, work is expected to begin on free trade bills with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The game plan is for the House to pass the bills, with the Senate taking them up after the recess. The question mark is how much trade adjustment assistance compensation will be tacked on — and whether that amount will threaten eventual passage.

There appears to be little momentum to address President Obama’s jobs bill and it is anticipated that the deficit reduction super committee will continue in the informal discussion phase.

Indiana Chamber members will be in D.C. Wednesday and Thursday for the organization’s annual Fly-in. Hopefully some good news will emerge from that visit.