Hal Rogers

Congress Struggling to Finish To-Do List Before Summer Break
Action on gun control, Zika, opioids, appropriations remains uncertain

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent believes there are a number of House members who would like to go on record against terrorists being allowed to buy guns. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With only seven working days left before a seven-week break, the House and Senate may adjourn without taking any meaningful action on gun control, Zika funding, opioid abuse and several outstanding appropriations bills.  

The Senate already held a series of failed votes on gun control and the House has yet to vote on the issue. A Republican counterterrorism bill that includes a provision to halt a gun sale to someone on the terrorist watch list for three days unless the government can produce evidence that the person belongs on the list does not have the support to pass the House. It remains unclear whether it can be tweaked to garner enough support before the summer recess.   

Obama to Stump for Anti-Heroin Plan as GOP Resists
Republicans want funds during appropriations process

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., hold a news conference in February to call for funding to address opioid abuse. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will headline a major summit on prescription drug and heroin abuse organized by a powerful House Republican who is trying to convince the party to fund the president's ambitious plan to fight the nationwide epidemic.  

With Republicans raising concerns about what kinds of initiatives Washington should be funding, Obama is expected to devote some of his remarks in Atlanta to press them to act. And, conveniently for Obama, one of the event’s organizers is a lawmaker who helps control the federal pocketbook: House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The president also is expected to announce a set of administrative actions that will not require congressional approval. A major thrust of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats has been to use federal dollars to help expand treatment for most vulnerable populations.  

Hal Rogers Eager for Majority Leader McConnell

Singer Jimmy Rose has appeared with McConnell and Rogers (not pictured) on Capitol Hill and in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The man in charge of writing spending bills in the House sounds downright excited for the possibility of fellow Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell becoming Senate majority leader next year.  

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150) "I’m very hopeful and anxious that Mitch takes over the majority leader's slot over there so that we can move these bills, and fund the government in a regular way — passing 12 individual bills on the House side and Senate side, then conferencing them in the old-fashioned way," House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers said last week in an interview.