Congress proved able to address at least some of the nation’s most urgent problems before leaving town on Thursday, passing legislation to reform the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs and agreeing to fund the federal highway programs.
However, they will go on a five-week break without reaching a deal to address the crisis at the southern border.
After months of partisan debate, Congress managed to pass a $17 billion bipartisan bill to address mismanagement at the VA and long wait times for veterans seeking health care. Members of both parties spoke out about the need for reform, but bickering over the legislation’s price tag threatened the bill’s final passage.
Correction: This post’s headline originally reported that the legislation included $16.3 million in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.