Looming deadlines, much unfinished business await Congress
WASHINGTON - There's a crush of unfinished business facing lawmakers when they return to the Capitol.
It'd be considered a daunting to-do list even if Washington were working at peak efficiency.
The big ticket items are tax cuts, a potential government shutdown and lots of leftover spending bills. They could unravel just as easily as advance, given the factionalism, gamesmanship and partisanship.
There's only a four-week window until a Christmas deadline, barely enough time for complicated negotiations even if December stays on the rails.
Democrats and Republicans have reasons to cooperate, particularly on spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies whose budgets otherwise would be frozen.
An additional round of hurricane aid should be bipartisan, and efforts to reauthorize a popular health care program for children seem to be on track.