On September 6, 2011, Congress will return from its annual August Recess with a full list of tasks to complete before the First Session adjourns for the year. Some of the more pressing items to take up will be spending bills for Fiscal Year 2012 and recommendations from the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (commonly known as the Super Committee).
Each year, Congress must pass regular appropriations measures, by October 1, in order to keep the government funded. If the regular appropriation acts are not completed by October 1, then Congress must pass a continuing resolution, providing stop-gapfunding. In some years Congress may include several in an omnibus appropriations measure, or a continuing appropriations bill providing funding for the full fiscal year.
Prior to recessing in the first week of August, the House had passed six of its 12 appropriations measures while the Senate has passed only one.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was established through the Budget Control Act of 2011. The committee which consists of 12 members, six from each chamber, is charged with the responsibility to develop recommendations on achieving $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction steps over a 10-year period. Senate members include: Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kerry (D-MA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Rob Portman (R-OH). The House will be represented by Reps.: James Clyburn (D-SC), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Dave Camp (R-MI), and Fred Upton (R-MI).
The committee must present its recommendations to the full Congress by November 23, 2011.