After Debt Agreement, Congress Gets Back to Business

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Congress.
Congress. Photo: Getty Images

That would be the business of blocking stuff from getting done: The Senate has joined the House in scheduling "pro forma" sessions during the August vacation, which will effectively prevent President Obama from even attempting to make any recess appointments. That's in addition to the Senate stalemate over finding temporary financing for the FAA. Since July 23, the agency has been in partial shutdown mode, with more than 4,000 workers likely to remain sidelined until after Labor Day. The fight is supposedly over subsidizing flights to rural areas, but has turned into such a snarl partly because "a larger fight has been taking place over federal rules on labor elections in the airline industry," says the Times.

Meanwhile, safety inspectors are working without pay and covering their own travel expenses, which is surely fabulous for morale. The Times estimates that this could cost the government more than a billion dollars in tax revenues. No big deal to Congress; they're just so free and easy with a buck these days.
Senate blocking recess appointments [Politico]
Stalemate in Senate Leaves 4,000 Out of Work at F.A.A. [NYT]