How Will Pennsylvania Fare In September's '12 Days Of Congress?'

Sep 8, 2017

Congress is back in session, and they have less than two weeks of legislative days to solve a slew of problems. By the end of the month, Congress needs to: 

  1. Find a way to keep the government running beyond Sept.30—the day the federal government runs out of money—with either with a new spending bill or a stop-gap measure;
  2. Negotiate the separation or combination of a debt-limit increase and emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey;
  3. Begin Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and also, maybe Irma;
  4. Vote on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, which provides federally guaranteed flood coverage to almost 5 million policyholders;
  5. Vote on the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers children whose families don't qualify for Medicaid but are still in need; and
  6. Decide what to do about health care before the Republicans' special budget rules, employed after the Senate vote, expires.

Joining the show to talk about the agenda are The Morning Call's Washington corespondent Laura Olson and freelancer Salena Zito, who frequently writes for the New York Post.

Up next:

After his first year as superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Anthony Hamlet was deemed "proficient" at his job by the board and given a raise before the school year began.

He'd long since weathered questions about whether he had inflated his experience on his resume, made new hires, cut down on suspensions and presented a five-year strategic plan. Education reporters Molly Born of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 90.5 WESA's Sarah Schneider weigh in.

Later in the show:

Pennsylvania is in its third month with no balanced budget.

Gov. Tom Wolf, the full Senate and House Democrats are pushing House Republicans to agree to a compromise plan that would raise some taxes and borrow money to fill a $2.2 billion shortfall. The caucus is still holding out—and even its own members appear conflicted on what to do.

90.5 WESA's Katie Meyer can catch you up.

And finally...

Tim Schooley with the Pittsburgh Business Times speculates what, if anything, Pittsburgh could parse from its unsuccessful bid for a DOJ Smart Cities Challenge grant last year for another upcoming application. Global shipping giant Amazon announced Thursday that the company will choose one metro area to play host to its HQ2, or second North American headquarters. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said, "IT'S ON."

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.