September 8th, 2009
10:12 AM ET
5 years ago

Health care not only Congress' top priority

While health care reform will soon be the main topic of Congress, other key issues are looming
While health care reform will soon be the main topic of Congress, other key issues are looming

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congress returns Tuesday from a monthlong recess to tackle a list of pressing issues, and health care reform isn't the only item at the top of the list.

Efforts to revamp the nation's health care system will undoubtedly be front and center as pressure mounts from the White House to get something done.

That pressure is likely to be placed on the Senate, where the influential Senate Finance Committee has yet to sign off on the proposed bill.

The Obama administration has also begun to ramp up efforts to push its agenda with force, beginning with an address before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday detailing what he wants in health care reform legislation.

But the Obama-backed bill is only one of the things on Congress' to-do list.

The Senate must pass spending bills before money runs out at the end of the fiscal year: in September. The House passed its spending measures before the August recess.

A contentious battle likely will ensue over the costs, as much of the GOP opposition to Democratic bills this year has focused on money.

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Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Paul from Phoenix

    Here's an idea. How about create a plan to help those without health insurance. Offer the unemployed a plan, and leave the rest of us alone! That might be a little easier of a plan to get passed.

    September 8, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Congress has full plate. But in order to get this country back on track, they are going to have to put in some overtime.

    September 8, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Congress has more than one thing to do. Wow! Really? Sheesh CNN!

    September 8, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't a surprise that Congress has more than one thing on the agenda. Climate change needs to be addressd; be it a carbon tax or cap and trade, it doesn't matter, but needs to be done to show leadership and be a good example. This goes beyond the usual of confiming judges and passing a budget.

    September 8, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Lindie

    Republicans get off this kick of FAILURE for this administration.......we voted for change whether you aprove of it or not, we voted for Obama whether you like it or not, we voted against the GOP and we will continue to vote against you until there is notthing left of your Grand Old Party......thats supports only the rich and powerful.......and turns your head to all of the needy people, the minority people......there are more minority people in this country and more lower and middle class and we will vote you out of every office if that's what it takes to bring you out of the DARK AGES....as of late the people that are speaking out are so full of hate........to be associated with this party of Red necks, right wing religious, and racists must make the rest of the Republicans ashamed to be in the same party as the rest of you uneducated conservatives........

    September 8, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Sounds like that absolute moron Barbara Boxer (If you don't believe she is a moron, look up some of her quotes) is going to try to foist the "Waxman Wet Dream" bill through on us that will drive away more jobs, create a higher cost of living and represent the kind of stealth tax increase the progressives (that is what they call themselves now) love. Of course the lazy, non working, dope smoking, Oprah watchers will have it all paid for them by those of us who actually work and pay taxes. Its is great to be a progressive (or liberal) living off the sweat and hard work of others. As long as the price of dope, doesn't go up too much, they have it made. Boxer and Waxman and of course Hussein have their backs.

    September 8, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    That's right we also need to ruin the energy industry with cap and trade legislation, indoctorinate school children with Bill Ayers' radical politics and find more ways to grab power and money from the American people.

    September 8, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Randolph Carter, the beer industry lobbyist

    I thought congress' top priority was making sure they get their money from the lobbyists. Have a nice day!

    September 8, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. cgillette369

    congress has NO priorities other than to get RE-ELECTED.
    that's all they care about.

    they HATE the voters.

    September 8, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Bob in Pa

    Top three on the list should be:

    1. Stop Spending so much on so little!

    2. Remove Social Security funds from the General Fund and prevent them from being spent.

    2. Reform Welfare – start drug testing on all Welfare recipients.

    September 8, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Chipster

    Should that be:
    Health care not Congress' only top priority?

    But isn't there only one top priority? Otherwise it isn't at the top, is it? If you list two or three of your highest priorities, there is still only one at the top. English isn't a very precise language, is it?

    September 8, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. sharon

    ?.... the GOP ? $...................then why did they spend us into the ground under good ol' W ?

    September 8, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. RealityKing

    Our progressively liberal 111th Congress has had no problem passing spending bills. Of course paying for them is a whole different story..

    September 8, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Julie

    Yeah, and we're still paying on the huge debt that Bush created when he borrowed up to $2-5 billion dollars per week for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for about 7 1/2 years. Quite a bill, and all the while cutting taxes which DECREASED the government's revenue and ability to pay those bills. Fiscally responsible actions, I think not. Thank you Bush & Cheney.

    September 8, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. John

    When will people learn how to place the word "only" in a sentence?!

    Your headline should read "Health care not Congress' only top priority" which implies that Congress has other issues on its plate. As it reads now, it means that health care is not only top priority but something else as well. The first choice is obviously what the article is saying, the second is not.

    Then again, the whole headline is ridiculous because you can, by definition, only have one TOP priority.

    September 8, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Anna from Missouri

    We have bailed out the( AIG) Insurance, then banks,& Wall Street. Now, we need to bail out the normal people by giving them Health Insurance that is affordable for all. I'm an independent who has voted Republican most of the time . I voted for President Obama because I believed he would actually try to change this. The Democrat have a majority in Congress now and should pass this. No excuses! Yes we can!!

    September 8, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. aliousalam

    Single payer Public option: Tha't their agenda as far as I am concerned.

    September 8, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Billy J ..Texas..

    I am from a very conservative background. I have tried for years to do what I can, when and where I can to back the conservative candidates and ideoligies that made sense and seemed honest to me. But this last 15 years, beginning with the Clinton impeachment forward have been nothing but some of the most disappointing and at times downright despicable conduct from the GOP and more over the far right members, that I feel like there is nothing left to defend or vote for. The latest was the chump from FL saying not to let your kids watch our President speak on the merits of education.

    What has happened? How did so many crooks and overblown blowhards get into the GOP? I would not be surprised if Ron Paul were to leave and go back to the Libertarians. I swear, if they could come up with a viable third party that was all about reading the bill before they sign it, staying within budget, and not catering to the dumbest guy in the room (on both sides) it would be nothing short of a revolution in D.C.

    September 8, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. gl, From Pittsburgh

    From here on the Dems are going to have to pass bill with out the Party of Obstruction/Party of NO. Dems please remember how is in charge and it is not the Repubicans loud mouth pigs.

    GOP didn't worry about any cost when they sign off to support the illegal Iraq WAR.

    September 8, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. demwit

    Why is the GOP always opposed to the Democrat's deficit spending habits? I mean.., its not like we have to worry about paying it back. Screw the kids!!

    September 8, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. John

    Isn't it about time for the Capital Dome to be powerwashed?

    September 8, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Four and The Door

    Also, the possibility of Congress taking up a second stimulus plan, some say, could throw a wrench into the health care debate.
    ____________________________________________________
    The first Stimulus already threw a wrench into the health care debate! The government spent $800 billion promising 400,000 new jobs from it and instead unemployment continues to increase.

    It is reckless management of our country's economy to rush into yet another $1 trillion program before there's any proof ( other than Joe Biden's victory lap ) that the Stimulus Bill will do any good.

    September 8, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Congress should do FIRST what Nancy Pelosi said she would do back in 2006.... clean house. Start with the likes of Rangel and Frank.

    September 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. yuri

    Of course not! The 2 wars, jobs, and rudimentary road conditions also rachet up the rhetorics of the reformers in politics, among other things. We try and tend to be neutral and independant, but the GOP-galvanized gun-toting gangs give us the jitters.

    September 8, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |