Opinion: Congress has a lot to get done when it returns from recess
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - It’s quiet in Washington, D.C. The halls of Congress have gone silent for the rest of August.
The House of Representatives went on recess on July 28th; the Senate dramatically shortened their break by two weeks.
They seemed determined to move forward with some version of health care reform. However, with no success, the Senate cut out Friday. In the end, they only stayed one extra week.
Members of Congress are not expected back until after Labor Day.
Overall, this Congress has not performed up to the expectation of the American people so far.
Yes, there have been some legislative successes such as the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, improvements to veterans’ health care programs, and the recent sanctions bill on Iran, North Korea and Russia. However, it is far less than Congress should have been able to achieve.
There are some extremely pressing issues that will be waiting on lawmakers when they return - increasing the government’s debt limit to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations and passing a spending bill to keep the government open for business.
Beyond that, Congress has to make real strides on the items that were key to the election of Republican majorities in the Senate, House and a Republican president.
Healthcare reform remains in limbo.
Tax reform is behind schedule.
Infrastructure spending has yet to be addressed.
The bottom line is this: members better rest up because they have a lot of heavy lifting to do when they get back to D.C. On all of these key fronts there is little room for error. It’s time for our elected officials to get things done on behalf of the American people. If not, 2018 is not that far away and voters have a strong memory.