WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of Congress will come back from their summer break in September to a plate full of health care reform - that's if they survive the latest rancorous and sometimes violent town hall meetings.
Senators are getting an earful on the subject from constituents. House members, who began their recess a week earlier, also got a head start on hearing from residents in their districts, facing sometimes contentious comments.
But when Congress returns, members will be hard-pressed to continue negotiations and get something done fast.
At the same time, the Senate must pass spending bills before money runs out at the end of the fiscal year: the end of September. The House passed its spending measures before leaving town.
"I think they're going to have a very full plate," said Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report. "And we know they're going to start with health care, but they're going to have to do appropriations, climate change. ... You can bet there will be a lot of other things are left to be done."
Rothenberg warns that If the economy takes another dip, there will be some pressure for more action in terms of a second stimulus or changes in tax policy.
But he said it's likely that those other issues will be put on the back burner until a health care compromise is in order.
Bipartisanship has long been lost during this 111th Congress, and that could make the negotiations last even longer.