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Recess Roundup: Legislation on Hold Till Congress Returns

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis.; photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., was the first member to race off the House floor after votes to start his summer recess on Thursday, August 2, 2012. Photo By Bill Clark /CQ Roll Call.

Congress left town — though didn’t quite officially adjourn — last week with heaps of unfinished business.

NewsHour’s Coordinating Producer on Capitol Hill, Linda J. Scott, notes that during the month of August, Congress will meet in pro forma sessions. In plain English that means “every three days they’ll gavel in, gavel out. It will be as if Congress is in session, but decisions won’t be made,” she said. Members will be paid for the recess, whether work is done or not.

Todd Zwillich, Washington correspondent for WYNC’s “The Takeaway,” has been covering the dysfunction preventing even the most basic measures from passing. He cited the Cyber security bill as one that is of the highest importance to national security, but “failed because there were too many factions.”

The NewsHour is going to be taking a look at some of these items in more depth, but here’s a roundup of some of the major pieces of legislation still on the table.

Congressional Agreement to Avoid Government Shutdown: On July 31, House and Senate leaders reached an agreement on spending to avoid a government shutdown. The resolution would pay for federal government operations through March 2013 and would fund implementation of the president’s health care law. Congress has yet to vote on the resolution.

Tune in to the NewsHour Monday night for a closer look at one of these issues, the farm bill.

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