Senate, House to scramble before Iraq report hits in September

When Congress returns in September, both chambers will have just two weeks before the anxiously awaited report from Gen. David Petraeus on operations in Iraq puts the war front and center on its agenda.

That will be preceded by a Government Accountability Office report due out shortly before the Labor Day weekend and will be followed by debate in the Senate on its defense authorization bill.

In its first week back, the Senate will first debate President Bush's nomination of former House Budget Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, to be Office of Management and Budget director and tackle its second fiscal 2008 appropriations bill, the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs measure. Other spending bills are likely to follow as the Senate tries to catch up with the House, with Transportation-Housing and Urban Development most likely and action possible on the Energy and Water and State-Foreign Operations appropriations bills.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide declined to specify the timing for appropriations bills, but said they would be bills Republicans and Bush could support. A continuing resolution is likely to be needed in late September, since action on all appropriations bills likely will not be finished by the new fiscal year.

Reid hopes for a conference in September on expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, with action possible on an Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill, a conference report on higher education legislation and perhaps another debate on stem cell legislation, which Bush vetoed earlier this year. Reid may take up the bill giving voting rights to the District of Columbia if he gets close enough to the 60 votes he would need to break a filibuster.

There likely will be committee action on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, though it is unclear when the legislation could be taken up on the floor, the aide said. Reid indicated earlier this week that he would like the full Senate to revisit the bill after the Judiciary and Intelligence committees revise and report a version of the legislation.

One of the early bills the House is expected to consider is legislation revamping the federal flood insurance program. Beyond those measures, if conferees working on higher education legislation can agree, that report would be brought to the floor.

Other likely candidates are bills overhauling the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance program. Democrats must also deal with pending free trade deals with Peru and Panama, which could be ready for votes in October.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.