Congress May Let Some Laws Lapse

Congress is recessing for the Christmas holiday, but both chambers are likely to return Thursday. There many, pressing issues to complete before the year is out.

Regardless of how far along the legislative process a bill gets, if it is not passed and signed into law by the end of one Congress, legislators must start over when a new Congress convenes.

There is concern that Congress will let many laws lapse.

The Senate has passed a Farm Bill, but the House hasn’t voted on one yet. If it fails to do so, current farm policy will expire next week.

Intelligence and cyber security bills are waiting for action, too. The same can be said for the Violence Against Women Act. If Congress does not reconcile the House and Senate versions, agencies across Alaska that assist domestic violence victims will start to lose federal aid.

An aid package for Super storm Sandy cleared a procedural vote in the Senate Friday evening, but it has not passed yet. And the House hasn’t even begun its work.

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