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US lawmakers plan to meet ahead of March 27 deadline

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Congress returns this week to address the immediate budgetary concerns that have waxed and waned amidst multiple debates in Washington. Indeed, US lawmakers are preparing to pander to topics such as immigration, gun control, and energy policy, preferring to transition into the looming deadline on March 27, which threatens to shut down the government.

This week, in the final days before yet another two-week recess, US legislators are expected to extend federal spending through September 30 to avoid a government shutdown in a deal that continues to remain unresolved. The House and Senate anticipate adopting separate, partisan budget plans for the next fiscal year that they won’t attempt to quickly reconcile.

By legislating and catering to the to the least-common denominator, Congress over the past three months will in essence have avoided an across-the-board income tax increase, preventing a default on the country’s debt and sidestepped a shutdown. While automatic spending cuts will ultimately remain in place and government worker furloughs will start, Congress won’t be up against a fiscal deadline until a debt ceiling increase is needed in August.

“We have two or three issues that are substantive issues – i.e. immigration and guns, that are moving forward, and I hope that we bring them to the floor,” Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, said in an interview last week. “Fiscal problems are big problems, but there are other challenges in America.”

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