After spending a month in their districts, lawmakers this week return to muggy Washington to pick up legislation where they left off. Among the matters awaiting their attention:

  • The finalization of an across-the-board 3.5 percent pay raise for federal employees. The raise has been given final approval in both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the financial services and general government spending bill, but awaits action on the Senate floor. Aides to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., chairman of the appropriations committee, said they are committed to bringing that measure to the floor before the start of the new fiscal year Oct. 1.
  • The military construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill. The Senate will likely spend its first days examining the $64.7 billion bill, the only one President Bush has not threatened to veto. A similar bill was given final approval by the House in June.
  • The confirmation of former Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, to become director of the Office of Management and Budget. Nussle’s nomination was approved by the Senate Budget committee in the final hours before the summer recess and is expected to pass easily on the floor.
  • The overhaul of the Inspectors General system. A House committee gave its final approval in early August to a bill that would set seven-year term limits for IGs and create a Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency by merging two existing IG councils. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Susan Collins, R-Maine are working on a similar bill to incorporate the changes included in the House bill with others, including IG pay reform.
  • The Senate Defense Authorization bill, which includes a provision that requires the Pentagon to preserve collective bargaining rights for its employees. The National Security Personnel System currently would curtail collective bargaining rights for its employees.

Date Title
9/28/07 Congress raises limit again as U.S. debt nears $10 trillion
9/28/07 Coburn targets gun-rights measure
9/27/07 Plan would close drug center
9/27/07 Bush at odds with right wing on NCLB
9/27/07 Congress agrees to raise U.S. credit limit
9/27/07 Coburn Lifts Hold on Suicide Prevention Bill
9/27/07 Congress set to add 4 million people to insurance program despite Bush veto threat
9/26/07 Bill on Gun Restrictions Bogged Down
9/26/07 DeMint Bill Gains Support
9/26/07 DeMint Bill Gains Support
9/26/07 Senate Looks to Fix Travel Rule
9/26/07 Senate Is Next Stop After House Passes Stopgap Funding With Little Debate
9/25/07 GOP: Earmark Rules Too Lax
9/25/07 Coburn Blocks Gun Background-Check Bill, Citing Concerns About Privacy, Spending
9/25/07 CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight on raising the debt limit
9/24/07 Opinion: The new Hillarycare
9/21/07 D.C. Tuition Aid Program Might Get Income Test
9/21/07 Opinion: When Will They Learn? Oh, the things Republicans in Congress let you pay for!
9/20/07 Senate Panel Approves Bill to Require Reports of White House-DOJ Contact
9/20/07 Senate Expected to Vote on Debt Limit Increase Before Columbus Day Recess
9/20/07 Army tests of rival carbines postponed
9/19/07 The Senate's G.O.P. Bomb Throwers
9/18/07 Editorial: Funding congressional pet projects leaves infrastructure across country at risk
9/18/07 Income cap of $1 million proposed for D.C. tuition aid
9/17/07 Money for kid’s health in jeopardy
9/17/07 ‘Hotlined’ Bills Spark Concern
9/17/07 Showdown Over Spending
9/15/07 Editorial: United Nations messes
9/14/07 Editorial: Public projects starve while Congress porks out on ‘earmarks’
9/14/07 Editorial: This little piggy
9/13/07 Coburn: Troop withdrawal is not an option
9/13/07 Funding for bridges served with side of pork
9/13/07 Another Coburn amendment dies
9/13/07 $8B in pet projects clogs bills; In wake of bridge tragedy, road 'earmarks' seen as a crack in funding system
9/12/07 Senate Rejects Proposed Amtrak Cuts
9/12/07 Dems writing stopgap spending measure to last into November
9/12/07 Cincinnati Red and Montana Should Fund Minor-League Stadium Before U.S. Pays, Coburn Says
9/12/07 Senate Rejects Attempt to Waive Wage Rules for Work on ‘Deficient’ Bridges
9/11/07 Healthy Medical Reforms
9/11/07 Democrats, GOP Mapping Approps Strategies
9/10/07 Opinion: The Senate's Ethics Sleight of Hand
9/9/07 Column: How the Swiss do health care
9/7/07 Going Coconut over Florida earmark
9/7/07 Coburn says public should get 'disgusted'
9/6/07 Coburn stands by blockage of vet bill
9/5/07 Editorial: Health Care and Taxes
9/4/07 Opinion: Backers of health plan for kids have other motives
9/4/07 Current record
9/4/07 Debates in Congress expected to heat up
9/4/07 MPO to consider rescinding vote to return 'tainted' money
9/2/07 Column: Dem congressmen worry about re-election if Clinton is nominee