The Agenda

Congress' Next Showdown

Back in session after a two-week break, Congress has to decide this week whether it should prioritize health care or climate change. According to The Wall Street Journal, “A growing number of Democratic lawmakers prefer health care, saying that has a far greater chance of producing consensus than climate change, inside the party and across party lines. And they argue that it would be a more tangible accomplishment to present to financially stressed voters heading into the 2010 midterm elections.” Friday’s ruling by the EPA, however, that greenhouse gases endanger public health has boosted the issue’s urgency. “Both issues are complex and politically difficult, and Capitol Hill has rarely completed landmark legislation on two fronts in one year. With four months gone in 2009 and the 2010 election looming, the window for substantive legislative action will narrow sharply.”