Prospect of Another Shutdown Looms as Congress Girds for Fights Over Spending

Prospect of Another Shutdown Looms as Congress Girds for Fights Over Spending

Congress returns from summer recess on Tuesday with just 12 legislative days to avoid a government shutdown. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
Congress returns from summer recess on Tuesday with just 12 legislative days to avoid a government shutdown. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (New York Times) — When Congress returns for business on Tuesday, lawmakers have scheduled a mere 12 legislative days to find a bipartisan compromise to keep the government open, vote on one of the most contentious foreign policy matters in a generation, reconcile the future of funding for Planned Parenthood and roll out the red carpet — and a few thousand folding chairs — to greet Pope Francis.

What could go wrong?

Ignoring the advice that one should never go to bed angry, members of Congress left for their home states in August with two major fights at full boil.

One dispute is over the Iran nuclear accord, which congressional Republicans and a number of Democrats oppose, set for debate in both chambers this week. Democrats, who have 36 votes in the Senate backing the accord, will try to add five more, which would allow them to block a Senate vote on a resolution to disapprove the deal. Democrats already have enough votes to sustain a veto of the resolution by President Obama, meaning that either way the Iran accord will go into effect.

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