Washington DC

Congress on Hold

The Florida Legislature has been in session for only a handful of days since the regular legislative session ended last spring — but state lawmakers still seem far more productive than their counterparts in the nation’s capital.

The official pre-election recess began in early October, but Congress did very little during the brief period between the end of the August recess and the beginning of the latest one. In fact, their main accomplishment was passing a continuing resolution funding the government through Dec. 11. Congress passed the funding bill in mid-September, primarily to avoid making politically sensitive choices before the election.

The Super Region’s lawmakers generally were supportive of the measure, as nine
of the 14 House members and both senators — Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio — voted
for it.

The prospects for additional legislative activity during the lame duck session that began after Veterans Day are slim. Since the Republicans retained their House majority and took back control of the Senate on Election Day, they likely will wait until after Jan. 1 — when they have complete control of Congress — to begin pushing a legislative agenda.

No Electoral Suspense

Like their brethren in Tallahassee, there was no nail-biting for members of the Super Region’s congressional delegation. None of the 14 delegation members faced serious threats in their races, and neither Nelson nor Rubio had to stand for re-election this year. Rubio’s current term is up in 2016, and Nelson’s term expires after 2018.