Congress is returning to Washington facing a full agenda and limited time in session.

There are two important deadlines facing Congress: The Oct. 1 start of a new fiscal year and a mid-October deadline for raising the debt ceiling.

There also are numerous controversial non-spending issues, including debate on President Obama’s request to use military force against Syria. Action on that resolution will take up most of the limited time available before the Sept. 30 fiscal year-end and could indirectly affect the appropriations and debt ceiling debates.

Sept. 30 is normally the deadline for finishing the 12 annual appropriations bills necessary to fund discretionary programs and government agencies or to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR). The deadline this year is Sept. 20 because the House is scheduled to be in recess from Sept. 20-30 unless the schedule is changed.

Several weeks ago, House and Senate Republicans threatened to try to block the CR in order to force the Obama Administration to accept a version that would cut off funding for “Obamacare.”

House Republicans now seem to be planning to seek concessions on the health law in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. So, it appears Republican leaders in the House will propose, and Democrats and the Administration will probably accept, a CR that allows agencies and programs to continue to operate for 30-90 days.