09/13/2010 - After a five-week recess, Congress is back at work in the last legislative session before midterm elections in four weeks. Reams of bills await attention — including more than 300 measures from the House that the Senate has so far shelved — and President Obama is pressing for small-business tax breaks. How much will lawmakers — who won't want to alienate voters ahead of elections — get done? Most experts agree: not much.
The down economy remains the focus of Congress, and the search is on for that magic cure to turn things around.
"The problem, the real challenge here, is the clock," said Sandra Eskin of the Health Group at the Pew Charitable Trusts. She's backing a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration new authority over food production, including the power to force the recall of tainted food. It's stalled in the Senate even with bipartisan support.
Listen to Much To Do, Congress Faces Nov. Elections Deadline in its entirety on the NPR Web site.