A closer look at next week...

But it's not entirely clear that negotiators, led by Vice President Joseph Biden, can finish their work next week. Biden's group is expected to meet at least three times to try. But late this week, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) seemed to imply it might not get done, and encouraged Republicans to consider a short-term debt ceiling increase to allow for more discussion.

Republicans didn't bite at that offer, and continued to stress that spending cuts are a key component of any deal.

Meanwhile, Republicans may be running out of patience on the Obama administration's military efforts on Libya. Both House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hinted that a bill could come up next week that defunds the Libya intervention.

And it's not just the GOP. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will push for his own Libya defunding language in the Defense Department appropriations bill, which the House is expected to begin working on late next week.

Bringing the political pot to a full boil, the House will also take up legislation that makes it easier to obtain drilling permits off Alaska's shore.

The Senate plans to continue its role as spectator to these larger fights. Democrats filed a cloture vote on a relatively smallish economic bill, and if that fails, could turn to bill that would streamline the presidential appointment process.

A below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:

Monday

The House meets at 10 a.m. for a pro forma session.

The Senate meets at 2 p.m.

Tuesday

House meets at noon for speeches and at 2 p.m. to take up five suspension bills. Four name post offices: H.R. 1632, S. 349, S. 655, and H.R. 771. The fifth, H.R. 672, terminates the Election Assistance Commission.

In the Senate, cloture votes are expected on S. 782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act, and S. 679, the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act.

Wednesday

House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches and noon for legislative work. For the rest of the week, members will work on H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act; H.R. 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act; and H.R. 2219, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

The House may also find time for H.R. 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act.

Thursday

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches and noon for legislative work. The Senate is in session.

Friday

The House meets at 9 a.m. for legislative work, and last votes are expected by 3 p.m.