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Congress To Recess With Unfinished Business At Hand

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 8/1/2013  Congress is preparing to leave Washington for summer recess with plenty of unfinished business.   Dana Bash takes us through the list   Let's start with the positivem a recent burst of bipartisanship.   A deal to make sure many student loan rates don't double.   A rare meeting of all senators that led to confirmation of several Obama nominees.   "The Senate certainly has functioned better in the last six weeks than it has in some time," offered Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.   Perhaps, but elementary school civics taughts us a bill can't be law without the Senate and House agreeing, and both leave Friday through September, with a lot left undone.   "The dysfuntionalty is real," says Democratic Sen. John Tester of Montana. "I don't know who the nine percent are that thinks we are working well.   Still unfinished, the farm bill, governing everythinig from farming to food stamps.   Immigration reform. It passed the Senate but the House is developing its own plans, likely with no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.   And again, Congress is way behind on its basic function, funding the government, which runs out of money September 30 or the government shuts down.   Conservatives like Ted Criz say that may be necessary if they can't cut money for "Obamacare."   "Under no circumstances will I suppot a contining resolution that funds even one penny of Obamacare," he says.   Some Republicans oppose that tactic.   "I just feel like that is a very self-defeating effort," says Sen. Corker.   Corker will spend August continuting bipartisan talks with the White House on a spending plan.   "During August recess, most of us work even harder than we do here," he says.   Also loomingm the debt ceiling. The U.S. risks defaulting on loans as soon as Labor Day.   "We could put the economy back into a tail spin, and it's absolutely not the thing we want to do in Washington, D.C." says Sen. Tester. 
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