NAICU Washington Update

Congress Goes Home in Hopes of Coming Back

October 01, 2010

Congress scooted out of town on time for one of the very few times in recent history, indicating that there is one thing both parties can agree on: that being an incumbent is not a good thing this election cycle, and members need to be back home defending their seats.

Before leaving town on Sept. 29, both chambers punted on the FY 2011 funding bill, passing a continuing resolution through Dec. 3, 2010. Continuing resolutions keep the government running at current year funding levels until final spending bills can be passed.

Regardless of election results, current members of Congress will have to come back for a lame-duck session. The session could be active for higher education because student aid funding and expiring higher education tax provisions are both slated for consideration (see earlier Washington Update story).

However, the lame-duck session could turn out to be a non-event, if the current Congress decides to boot its problems to the new Congress by simply extending the continuing resolution again, to after the new year. Until election results are in, no one knows what congressional leaders will do, including the leaders themselves.

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