WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressional members are returning to DC following a two-week break. They are already facing deadlines to get major spending bills finalized. About a month ago, Congress came up with an agreement on the debt ceiling. Within that bill, they agreed on an overall spending cap but now members have just a few short weeks to finalize important appropriation legislation. 

To avert a government shutdown Congress needs to finalize the government budget before it expires on September 30th. This bill includes hundreds of billions of dollars for non-defense discretionary programs and defense funding, among other items. This is something we are expecting a big fight over. Some republicans were split over the defense spending agreement from the debt ceiling. In the debt deal, it capped security spending at 886-billion. Some congressional aids before the deal was struck were eyeing a security budget of more than 900-billion. Here’s what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY) said about defense spending.  

"If we really want to have an impact on competing with China, we can’t do it by having lower numbers for defense,“ said McConnell.  

Another big piece of legislation that is set to expire before October is the Farm Bill. This is something northwest Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson (R- PA), who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, has been working on along with members. This bill impacts every single American. The legislation outlines how our food is grown, what kinds of foods are grown, SNAP benefits and more. This bill overall has a huge impact on farming. This piece of legislation has to be reauthorized every five years. 

These are just a handful of big-ticket items congress needs to approve before October. The clock is ticking to finalize these items because Congress will go on another month-long recess in August, giving them just a handful of weeks to finalize legislation that impacts everyone.