Congress returns to a full plate of deadlines and presidential directives

Here's what coming up for Congress starting today.

— -- After an unusually eventful summer recess, Congress is returning to work this week with a long to-do list driven by fiscal year deadlines, natural disasters and presidential directives.

Creeping deadlines to keep the government functioning

The end of the month brings several critical can’t-miss deadlines.

Hurricane Harvey funding

During a "Fox News Sunday" appearance, Mnuchin said he and Trump believe Congress should raise the debt ceiling and approve an initial tranche of funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery together.

"The president and I believe that [the debt ceiling] should be tied to the Harvey funding. Our first priority is to make sure that the state gets money. It is critical. And to do that, we need to make sure we raise the debt limit," Mnuchin said.

The White House has asked Congress to approve an initial $7.85 billion in supplemental spending to help afflicted areas recover from Hurricane Harvey, a senior White House official told ABC News Friday.

While there’s no deadline to pass these funds, obviously the goal is to provide aid to Harvey relief as soon as possible.

Health care premiums

The health insurance industry breathed a collective but momentary sigh of relief when Trump announced in mid-August that he would, in fact, approve that month’s payments to help offset the costs of insuring low-income people, known as cost-sharing reductions.

But the president has repeatedly threatened to stop the payments, which keeps the marketplace in a constant state of suspense. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is holding a series of hearings in early this month on longer-term solutions to stabilize insurance premiums on the individual market beginning on Wednesday, bringing in a group of state insurance commissioners to get their suggestions.

On top of all this, tax reform

Having revised their initial estimate that sweeping reform of the tax code would be done by August, Mnuchin and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn now say they want to accomplish it by the end of the year -- still a steep deadline that none of the congressional committees of jurisdiction have endorsed publicly.