Congress is back in session for the march toward adjournment for the year.
The House and Senate's first week back will be consumed by debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, although Senate Democrats are expected to block a final vote in the Senate. But Congress has until Oct. 1 to pass a spending bill to keep the government running for the next year, and is trying to finalize a six-year transportation funding bill.
Congressman Luke Messer (R-6th) says the Iran deal deserves a debate and vote, even though the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
“We need to have this debate so the American people can see the facts and we can all be on record as to where we were. Obviously, we all want peace,” Messer says. “If the agreement does pass, we all want the agreement to be successful.”
Messer says there could be a bumpy road to passing a spending bill to keep the government running. He's expecting an effort to defund Planned Parenthood, and says he'd have a hard time voting for a spending bill that doesn't cut off the organization's federal money.
Messer and Congressman Andre Carson (D-7th) are in rare agreement that they'd rather not dump all the spending bills into a single catchall bill. But Carson predicts Congress will avert a shutdown.
“The full-year, continuing resolution would continue funding at last year’s levels and not allow us to make changes that the public really wants and needs,” Carson says. “A better option would be a short-term bill while we finish our spending bills.”
Congress hasn't passed all 12 appropriations bills on time since 1997.