WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Members of Congress spent most of the last week in their districts to attend Veterans Day services. Here’s a breakdown of what got done and what is on Congress’s plate, starting Monday.
• Congress passes bill that funds the military for another year with such a big majority, it could overpower a presidential veto.
• Lawmakers plan to hear how the government can better manage wildfires.
• Both the House and Senate will investigate a series of recent scandals in the Secret Service.
Fixing roads & bridges – Congress must agree on a six-year deal to pay for the Highway Trust Fund or pass another short-term funding bill. If they don’t, the money runs out Friday, November 20, 2015.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – The Senate passed this major military spending bill Tuesday. It is a bill it passes every year, but this time, Congress had to pass it twice because President Obama vetoed the first version. A controversial piece of the NDAA bans the U.S. from ever moving accused terrorists out of a prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and bringing them to the mainland. Obama will sign the bill, but his spokesman said the president still plans to find a way to close the prison.
Make sports teams pay – The NDAA also bans ‘paid patriotism,’ which is when the Department of Defense paid professional sports teams to honor members of the military prior to major sporting events.
Controlling wildfires – Lawmakers plan to look into how federal officials can improve how they manage wildfires that ravage parts of the U.S. every year.
Secret Service scandals – Yet another White House Secret Service officer was caught breaking the law. This one admitted to sending naked pictures of himself while on the job to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Both the House and Senate will look into several security breaches and what some leaders call abuses of power.
The House and Senate will return to work on Capitol Hill on November 16, 2015.