Lawmakers face long to-do list before break
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things, such as overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers.
Now it's time to see whether it can just do the basics.
Only two weeks remain before lawmakers' annual August break. Progress is mixed on several must-pass items due to Capitol Hill partisanship, heightened by midterm elections and the Obama administration's conflicting signals to Congress.
Lawmakers must find about $10 billion to keep highway projects on track through next spring and ease long wait times for veterans seeking health care. They also must deal with a humanitarian crisis of some 57,000 unaccompanied immigrant children who have entered the U.S. since last fall.
Also looming large is legislation to keep the government operating.