The House and Senate return to work after summer recess.
Congress's biggest piece of business before the election is approving a $1.047 trillion, six-month stopgap measure that would keep the government operating beyond the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.
Romney and Obama campaigns begin to roll out fall ads
The campaigns are likely to raise and spend an unprecedented $300 million. The Obama campaign is worried that Romney is raising more, although Obama and his affiliated groups raised $552.5 million through June, compared to Romney's $394.9 million.
Federal Reserve concludes the sixth meeting of the year
If the fed implements another massive dose of monetary stimulus, QE3, keeping interest rates low, the stock market could swing upward. Of, if the Fed decides to hold off, the market could just as easily plunge.
Early voting begins in Indiana and Kentucky
Many other states scheduled to allow voters to cast their ballots long before Election Day.
Fiscal Year 2012 officially ends
The administration and Congressional Budget Office are certain to report the governmentâ€™s fourth consecutive budget deficit of well over $1 trillion.
The first presidential debate
Held at the University of Denver, the focus will be on domestic policy, moderated by Jim Lehrer of the News Hour on PBS.
Bureau of Labor Statistics issues final unemployment stats
If the unemployment rate dips even a little more before the election, Obama can argue that his economic policies are beginning to bear fruit. A last minute surge in the unemployment rate could sink his campaign.
Deadline for Congress to deal with the fiscal cliff
The last day Congress can do anything before the election to extend tax cuts and blunt spending cuts to avert a fiscal cliff. Lawmakers will head home to campaign through the election.
European authorities release report on Greece's fiscal future
Early drafts released last week indicate that Greece will be asked to introduce a six-day work week. American officials and bankers have insisted the U.S. is insulated from Greece possibly exiting the eurozone, but a negative report could test that theory.
Vice presidential debate
Candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will square off at Centre College in Danville, Ky., answering questions from ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz.
Second presidential debate
Obama and Romney will answer questions from undecided voters in a town hall style meeting at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. CNNâ€™s Candy Crowley will moderate.
Defense contractor layoff warnings
Defense contractors decide whether to send out letters to millions of employees and subcontractors warning of possible layoffs in the event of deep defense cuts. A mass mailing of potential layoff notices could touch off panic and a backlash against government leaders.
Romney releases his complete 2011 tax return
This follows an earlier release of his 2010 tax returns and an estimate of his 2011 return. The announcement is certain to renew Democratic criticism of the wealthy former head of Bain Capital for refusing to divulge more extensive information about his holdings and investments, including off shore bank accounts.
The third and final presidential debate
The focus will be on foreign policy with Bob Schieffer, host of CBSâ€™ â€œFace the Nation,â€ moderating the discussion at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Washington Editor and D.C. Bureau Chief Eric Pianin is a veteran journalist who has covered the federal government, congressional budget and tax issues, and national politics. He spent over 25 years at The Washington Post.