[Given the agreement between Mr. Obama and the pope on such signature issues, the pope’s visit with the president may pass uneventfully for the White House. Far more delicate decisions will be needed on how to handle the conclave of world leaders who are expected to arrive in
at the end of September to attend
the United Nations General Assembly.] New York
President Obama heading home from
of tasks after returning from
Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
But even by modern standards, President Obama faces a daunting list of tasks after returning to Washington on Sunday from a relatively quiet two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard — with legislative deadlines and visits from world leaders already penciled into his September schedule.
On the domestic front, Congress will have to pass funding legislation by the end of September to avoid shutting down the government for the second time in two years. With only 15 legislative days on the Senate calendar for the month, a brewing fight over whether to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and a raft of senators running for president, it could be difficult to pass even a short-term funding measure despite vows by senior Republican legislators that they will not support a shutdown.
And there are other pieces of must- and should-pass legislation, including extending authority for highway and infrastructure spending, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and dealing with various expiring tax provisions. Cyber security legislation and a movement to scale back tough federal criminal sentencing laws will also require time and attention.
“Republicans in Congress have their work cut out for them,” said Jennifer Friedman, deputy White House press secretary.
Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senator Mitch McConnell of
, the majority leader, said
that work would be a lot easier if Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats were
not so obstructionist. Kentucky
“We have a lot to do, but we have plans to do it,” Mr. Stewart said. “The president, on the other hand, will have a very difficult September because he’s trying to do things despite bipartisan opposition against him, such as on the
Indeed, one of the most anticipated legislative battles of the year will be over whether Congress can override an expected presidential veto and reject the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the
and five other countries. United States
The deadline for the first vote is Sept. 14, and if both the House and Senate reject the deal with anything close to veto-proof majorities, the
drama could consume much of
September and even the first week of October. Iran
While Mr. Obama has aggressively defended the
deal, and has gone on the
offensive to woo lawmakers, he will face myriad distractions during the month. Iran
He will have to put on a tuxedo and a wary smile for a rare state dinner and summit meeting with President Xi Jinping of China. Besides climate change, the two men are likely to discuss the alleged hacking of United States government personnel records by Chinese operatives, China’s growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea, a worrisome increase in Chinese government repression, allegations that covert Chinese agents are harassing expatriates in the United States and renewed allegations of currency manipulation by China.
Pope Francis will arrive in
on Sept. 22 and visit the
White House the next day, according to his schedule. The pope will
deliver a speech before Congress on Sept. 24, and there is likely to be intense
interest from the White House on how he chooses to address that body, which is
filled with climate change skeptics. Washington
Mr. Obama has made the battle against climate change a signature issue in his second term, one that he intends to highlight when he gives speeches in
on Monday and in Las Vegas on Thursday, and during a
visit to New Orleans in the first few days of September. The pope is
likely to touch upon the moral dimension of climate change and economic inequality. Alaska
Given the agreement between Mr. Obama and the pope on such signature issues, the pope’s visit with the president may pass uneventfully for the White House. Far more delicate decisions will be needed on how to handle the conclave of world leaders who are expected to arrive in
at the end of September to attend
the United Nations General Assembly. New York
Will Mr. Obama meet again with President Raúl Castro of
after the opening of diplomatic relations between the two
countries? Will he meet President Hassan Rouhani of Cuba or President Vladimir
V. Putin of Iran , whose foreign minister said
last week that Mr. Putin would “consider constructively” any request from Mr.
Obama for a meeting? Presidential aides said those decisions had yet to be
Michael E. O’Hanlon, a foreign-policy analyst at the Brookings Institution, said that even without the budget and other issues in Congress, the visit by Mr. Xi, the
vote and the decisions and
meetings surrounding the United Nations meeting made for a challenging month. Iran
“The bottom line is that it will be a heck of a September, rivaled in recent years perhaps only by last September, when we had Ebola and
ISIL’s rise to contend with, along
with the war in Ukraine and a few other matters,” he said.
Then there are the political issues. The president has said he will provide a report on the
prison by September to Senator
John McCain, Republican from Guantánamo Bay who is chairman of the Senate
Armed Services Committee. Presidential aides have said closing the prison
remains a top priority for Mr. Obama, but he has faced resistance from Congress
and even from some of his own appointees. Arizona
Also, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he will announce in September whether he will run for president, and on Sept. 16 the second Republican presidential primary debate will take place at the Reagan Presidential Library in
Then in October, there is
likely to be a tough legislative fight over raising the debt ceiling, with potentially
huge economic consequences if Congress fails to do so. Simi Valley, Calif.
Mr. Obama played a lot of golf on
and playing through these hazards on his schedule will also take considerable