Congress will be racing to complete a number of priorities between Memorial Day and the August recess, all under the shadow of massive fiscal issues looming at year's end.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File
When Congress returns from the Memorial Day holiday the House and Senate will have about two months before their annual August recess, a moment widely seen as a legislative point of no return given the pressures of presidential politics this election year and the gridlocked situation on Capitol Hill.
Between Memorial Day and the dog days of the summer, however, the two chambers will move on several important but manageable priorities, while the massive issues of year-end tax increases, mandated spending cuts, and the legality of President Obama's signature health-care reform loom above all.
According to a memo sent to House legislators by majority leader Eric Cantor (R) and floor remarks from Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D), the two chambers will not be legislating in step over the next several weeks.