A Congressional Breather

We have reached a point in this year's Congressional schedule where everyone is starting to slow down and take a deep breath.

So far, the Congress has had to deal with the huge economic stimulus bill and then the fight over the pretty big Omnibus spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year.

Now those two are in law, and the maneuvering has gotten underway on the Obama budget, which will get our attention for months to come.

The next pressure point is a two week break for Easter, which starts on April 3 - that gives us three more weeks to get some big things done.

Democrats would like to vote on the Congressional Budget resolution - basically the framework of the Obama budget - before taking an Easter Bunny Break.

Next week, the House Budget Committee holds several hearings on the matter, getting testimony from members of the Congress, along with Defense Department officials.

The week after, I bet that's when the Budget panel will try to put together a budget resolution, with a floor vote in the House just before the Easter break.

In the meantime, there isn't much big on the floor of the House or Senate.

"What post offices are they naming today?" asked one of my colleagues with huge amounts of sarcasm in his voice, mocking the light schedule of the House this week.

Next week will be much the same, with no votes next Friday the 20th, meaning that lawmakers can spend the day watching March Madness.

My advice - enjoy this breather in the Congressional schedule.  I know I will.

There are some big battles and some big votes just down the road.