Mel Leonor

WHAT TO WATCH ON THE HILL THIS FALL: As Congress returns to Washington this week, lawmakers are facing a slew of high-stakes fiscal deadlines. The negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, averting a government shutdown and embarking on a tax overhaul have big implications for education programs, as for others across the government. Some education policy issues may also get play this fall. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.

Money, money, money: Lawmakers will be in a sprint over the next several weeks to fund the government beyond Sept. 30, when the current fiscal year ends. Congress may ultimately fall back on a stopgap measure that kicks the deadline down the road. But in the meantime, House and Senate appropriators are working on funding bills. On the House side, education funding legislation (H.R. 3358 (115)) has already cleared the appropriations committee. But lawmakers on the House Rules Committee will sift through hundreds of amendments this week that could get tacked onto the bill when it’s combined into a package of eight appropriations bills on the House floor. On the Senate side, the appropriations subcommittee overseeing education funding is expected to vote on its plan for the agency.

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