Congress back today, starts serious business immediately

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Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (L, D-MD) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R, R-KY) are expected to announce a deal on spending plans for the rest of FY2014. (Photos and composite courtesy of Politico)

The second session of the 113th Congress opens today. The Senate is back and voting on nominations and the House comes back tomorrow. Neither chamber will wait long for the heavy lifting to begin.  David Hawkings, Senior Editor at Roll Call and host of the Hawkings Here blog (my favorite for insight into the inner workings of Capitol Hill) says members won’t wait long to get to the serious business at hand.

David says we could see an omnibus appropriations bill within 24 to 48 hours.  Observers expect House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski to finalize details within a day or two.  Both houses could pass the bill – and President Obama sign it into law – well before the January 15th deadline to avoid another government shutdown.

And that sets the stage, potentially, for a significant development that hasn’t happened in a decade – regular order on appropriations bills for Fiscal 2015.

Listen for David’s insight into what you can expect from the Hill in the days and weeks to come.

Also on today’s show: acclaimed government expert Bill Eggers of Deloitte on avoiding the one trap that could kill your project on the launch pad; former Deputy OFPP Administrator Rob Burton, of Venable, on how value engineering will improve procurement in government; and Dan Bertoni of the Government Accountability Office on how problems with the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File will hold agencies back from using it to save money.  You can listen to all the interviews from the show on today’s In Depth show blog.