The New York Times (8/24, A9, Harris, Subscription Publication) reports that as President Obama returns to Washington from his two-week vacation, he faces “a daunting list of tasks … with legislative deadlines and visits from world leaders already penciled into his September schedule.” Among them, “Congress will have to pass funding legislation by the end of September to avoid shutting down the government for the second time in two years,” an extension “for highway and infrastructure spending, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and dealing with various expiring tax provisions.” The Times adds that “one of the most anticipated legislative battles of the year will be over whether Congress can override an expected presidential veto and reject the Iran nuclear deal.” Also this fall, President Xi Jinping of China and Pope Francis are set to visit the US.
The AP (8/23, Pace), reporting from the site of Obama’s vacation in Massachusetts, also says the president faces a “daunting” fall, following a summer that has been “among the most productive stretches” of his presidency. The Los Angeles Times (8/24, Memoli) predicts that the “end-of-the-year stretch” will either “cement some of his biggest remaining goals — or hasten the arrival of dreaded irrelevance” for Obama, who according to the newspaper “heads into these fights seemingly ready for battle.”
Obama Urges Congress To Address “Stack Of Unfinished Business.” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” blog quoted Obama in his weekly media address as promoting “his administration’s economic achievements” while challenging Congress “to address a litany of issues” when it returns from recess in September. “Seven years after the worst economic crisis in generations, our economy continues to grow and create jobs,” Obama said. “Now, we need Congress to do its part to boost the economy” after it “left town for five full weeks — and they left behind a stack of unfinished business.” He urged lawmakers to renew the Ex-Im Bank and pass a budget for fiscal 2016.
Former Senator And Governor George Allen: Ex-Im Charter Lapse Amounts To Unilateral Economic Disarmament. In an opinion piece for the Hampton Roads (VA) Virginian-Pilot (8/23), George Allen, Republican former US senator and Virginia governor and now co-chairman of the NAM’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative, writes that “Congress failed thousands of small businesses and manufacturers by allowing the Ex-Im Bank’s charter to expire.” Citing NAM data about the self-sustaining Bank’s impact on businesses in Virginia as well as US exporters’ decreased competitiveness due to the absence of its credit financing, Allen says those hurt include American manufacturers, which “are now ineligible to bid on large infrastructure projects and sales of their products.” He urges “the small group of lawmakers standing in the way of” the Bank’s reinstatement to overcome their adherence to “an ideology that ignores the realities of the world we live in today.” Allen concludes, “Pass a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank with reasonable reforms before any more damage is done to American jobs and manufacturers.”