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Money To Fight Zika, Fund Clean Water Infrastructure Among Budget Clashes Expected For Congress This Month

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Money To Fight Zika, Fund Clean Water Infrastructure Among Budget Clashes Expected For Congress This Month
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Congress is back in Washington this week to work on completing a spending bill ahead of a September 30 deadline. Not surprisingly, not only is Congress expected to miss the deadline for the bill, lawmakers can’t agree on the duration of a stopgap spending bill.

The spending bill will be the top priority for Congress this month because it must put something in place by the deadline to keep the government funded. However, it will not be the only issue Congress will address this month.

Voters, particularly in the key swing state of Florida, are growing increasingly concerned about the spread of Zika virus, and money to fight the spread of the disease is quickly running out. Democrats already blocked a $1 billion Zika bill after objecting to a number of the bill’s provisions.

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Congress will also likely vote on the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act this month, which would authorize a host of water infrastructure projects across the country.

In addition, House Republicans will likely put forth legislation to address the Obama administration’s controversial $400 payment to Iran following a nuclear agreement.

There are a number of other issues that could come up this month that have little chance of approval. The Obama administration and many Republicans are opposed to a bill that would place blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia. A Republican bill to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen is also unlikely to gain enough support to pass.

The spending bill is the most important item on the Congressional agenda for investors, but Congress has let budget legislation come down to the wire so many times in recent years that the market may not pay much attention this time.

With elections just two months away, incumbents will spend as much time as possible in coming weeks taking responsibility for the major economic turnaround in recent years. Since the last presidential election in 2012, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up 35.3 percent.

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