Capitol Edge: What to expect from Congress in 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his fellow Republicans plan to start 2016 by approving a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. The bill is purely symbolic as there is not enough support to override President Barack Obama's awaiting veto. (AP file)


WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – A bill the president definitely will not let be law, a new special committee and a lot fewer days on Capitol Hill for Congress.

Here’s your Capitol Edge:

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., promises the first week of 2016 also will be the first time Congress sends a bill to President Barack Obama repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.

“We’ll finally get a bill to his desk to veto,” Ryan said.

It will all be symbolic. There are not enough Republicans in Congress to overpower the president’s expected veto.

The president will be giving his final State of the Union speech earlier than normal — Jan. 12. After that, he will spend a large amount of his presidency traveling the globe trying to cement his legacy before someone new comes into office.

In 2016, we may also learn the findings from the Select Committee investigating Benghazi. But we will definitely hear more about a new committee set to look into abortion practices across the United States.

“It is the abortion industry at large, it is not specific to Planned Parenthood,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said.

Congress will not be spending much time on Capitol Hill this election year. The House will only be in session 110 days, while the Senate will not be in session two months of the summer and during October.

Congressional leaders have said their biggest goal is to fix the budget process. Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have said they want to pass 12 separate appropriations bills. For years, Congress has passed large, last-minute budget bills ahead of shutdown deadlines.

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