A deeply unpopular Congress is bolting for the campaign trail without finishing its most basic job - approving a budget for the government year that begins on Friday. Lawmakers also are postponing a major fight over taxes, two embarrassing ethics cases and other political hot potatoes until angry and frustrated voters render their verdict in the Nov. 2 elections.
As a last necessary task before leaving, both the Senate and House passed a temporary spending measure needed to keep federal agencies operating when the new budget year starts.
As Congress moved toward a messy end to a session fraught with partisan fire, President Barack Obama campaigned for Democrats in Iowa and Virginia, accusing Republicans of being dishonest about what needs to be done to revive the economy and restore middle-class dreams.
With their House and Senate majorities on the line, Democratic leaders called off votes and even debates on all controversial matters.