This post has been updated with the drama regarding Kevin McCarthy's withdrawal from the race for speaker.
Congress has less than a month worth of legislative days to keep the government open; pass a bill that funds repairs to highways, bridges and rails; find a new speaker for the House of Representatives; raise the debt ceiling to allow us to pay our existing obligations; and pass a spending bill to keep the government open.
The drama escalated Thursday when House Republicans' No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), suddenly took himself out of the running to be speaker. With just minutes to spare, current Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had to postpone the election for his replacement, his likely candidate no more.
Without a speaker, Congress's deadline for the last task on its to-do list, Dec. 11, seems closer than ever. That's more than two months away, but the graphic below makes clear the actual number of days that Congress has to work on all of its legislative and personnel problems is much less.
That's because lawmakers are usually back in their districts Friday afternoon through Monday, as well as the week around holidays.
That schedule could change if leaders decide to hold weekend sessions or stay in town for Thanksgiving. But as of right now, Congress has a lot to do and frankly not much time to do it. This chart, made by The Washington Post's Darla Cameron, will count down exactly how many days lawmakers have left, so be sure to bookmark it.