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blog: jamie-dupree

Congress leaves town for the elections

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 11:35 PM

Backing away from any budget showdown that might trigger a government shutdown at the end of this week, lawmakers in the House and Senate are headed home now until after the elections, as Congress on Wednesday approved a stop gap budget to keep Uncle Sam operating through early December.

The plan includes $1.1 billion to address the Zika virus, which lawmakers from Florida had been demanding for weeks.

"The Zika outbreak is a public health issue, not a political one," said Rep. David Jolly (R-FL).

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"Congress tonight did the right thing," Jolly added.

"I want to say that despite a long wait, help is finally on the way," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

But while the House and Senate easily approved the "Continuing Resolution" that funds the government, a number of Republicans were not pleased with the outcome.

85 lawmakers voted against the temporary funding measure in the House - 75 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Lawmakers won't return to Washington, D.C. for legislative sessions in the House and Senate until November 14, the week after the 2016 election.

As my colleague Paul Kane of the Washington Post notes, it has not been that busy of a legislative year for members of the House and Senate.

The departure for the elections postponed a number of scheduled hearings and other legislative action dealing with the GOP investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server.

The House was slated to vote Thursday on a resolution to find Clinton IT aide Bryan Pagliano in Contempt of Congress for refusing to show up for a hearing about Clinton's emails.

Also, a hearing scheduled for Thursday on the difficulty in getting answers from the State Department and other agencies about document requests by the Congress was postponed.

All of that - and more - can be taken up the week after the November elections.

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