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Impeachment, Shutdown, Gun Control: Conflict Looms as Congress Returns


WASHINGTON, DC – The House and Senate are back in session this week, after a six week recess, with a bold agenda for the rest of the year.  The list promises to deliver controversy, from pursuing an official impeachment inquiry to avoiding a possible government shutdown.

Republican Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is criticizing House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler for preparing a vote on impeachment proceedings, calling the Democrats' continued push for impeachment "pitiful".

"They know they don't have the votes to go for a full, formal impeachment inquiry which is what our House rules inquire," Collins told Fox & Friends. "They want to make it look like they are doing something that they promised their base because they've been out promising that they would get this president. The sad part about it is that they want people to believe something that is not true, they want to continue to put a false narrative out there."

Congress also faces only three weeks to strike a deal on government funding before a possible government shutdown. The House and Senate are taking different paths to try and avoid a shutdown.

While the Senate plans to work on passing appropriations bills, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote to his colleagues that he's "disappointed that the Senate failed to introduce a single appropriations bill for the first time in more than three decades" concluding that "a continuing resolution will be necessary to prevent another government shutdown."

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Two issues that could complicate the budget deals: border wall funding and gun control.

"I think what the president is doing is the right thing to do, but I think if you take away that congressional ability to decide how money is spent, you really take away the biggest tool that Congress has in the unique balance of power our Constitution creates," Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told NBC's Meet the Press.

After 53 people died from mass shootings in the US in August alone, Democrats are returning to Washington with a priority on gun control.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "Enough is enough. Congress is returning to session, and our first order of business in the Senate should be to pass the House-passed bipartisan background checks act."

Democrats on the 2020 campaign trail are echoing that call, with candidates uniting for a video calling for gun control legislation.

"Gun violence is literally life and death, it has become so numbingly common that we have kids going to school wondering if they're going to be physically safe," say candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg in a combined campaign ad.

And with the growing deficit and debt still not under control, Trump now has another 2020 challenger from his own party – former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford.

"We're headed toward the most predictable financial crisis in the history of our country and we've never been as financially vulnerable, save for the start of our republic, the Civil War and World War Two. I can't sit on the sidelines and not speak up and all of us should find a way to make our voices heard," said Sanford in his campaign announcement.

Sanford says his campaign will focus on fiscal responsibility – but Republicans in many states, including South Carolina, voted to eliminate their primaries, making his candidacy a long shot.

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