Congress is back from a seven-week recess with less than a month to prevent a government shutdown. With a little more than three weeks until the end of the fiscal year, and about two months remaining until Election Day, lawmakers must fund the federal government or watch as national parks close and federal employees are furloughed. The budget year ends Sept. 30, and as of now, none of the regular spending bills have become law. There is disagreement on Capitol Hill about both the length of any stopgap budget as well as spending levels: House conservatives want to spend $30 billion less than what was called for in a deal struck last year.
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