Analysis: Election-year politics likely to hamper congressional budget work

Monday - 2/27/2012, 8:09pm EST

David Hawkings, editor, CQ-Roll Call Daily Briefing

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Congress is back in town this week ... but not for long.

And lawmakers may already be hitting a timeline problem for getting their work done this year.

David Hawkings, the editor of the CQ-Roll Call Daily Briefing, joined In Depth with Francis Rose to discuss the congressional calendar and the election-year politics that are sure to get in the way of lawmakers' work in passing agency budgets.

"Every day counts in an election year, because the election-year calendar is ... so much shorter than the so-called off-year," Hawkings said.

Over the next few weeks and months, much of Congress' work will be taken up with budget work.

House Republicans have a goal of the end of March to release their version of a 2013 budget resolution, he said. "But the Senate, led by the Democrats, has no interest in following along and doing their own budget," he added.

The recent passage of the payroll tax cut deal and the emerging consensus on a funding bill for highway programs may have some ready to declare a new era of bipartisanship.

But Hawkings was less sanguine.

"I think it's the era of quick capitulation in the face of problems," he said, adding that Congress may find it more difficult to get anything done as election season kicks into high gear.

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