Friday: STEM visas in the House, Defense authorization in the Senate

On Thursday, several House Democrats said they oppose the bill because they don't want to eliminate the diversity visa program. But a few dozen Democrats are expected to support the bill when the House votes on it Friday morning.

Passage of the STEM bill will end the House's work for the week.

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The Senate returns at 9:15 a.m. and will continue work on S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate held votes on several amendments to this bill into late Thursday night — among those passed were amendments that would permanently prohibit the use of funds to transfer terrorist detainees in Cuba to U.S. prisons and support President Obama's timeline for Afghanistan withdrawal at the end of 2014. (See stories below for details on other amendments that were passed.)

Among the four amendments to be discussed on Friday are ones that deal with Afghanistan and Iran sanctions.

Before finishing up Thursday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) fought over whether the Senate should vote on a Coburn amendment that would only allow the Second Amendment rights of veterans to be taken away when they are mentally infirm when that finding is made by a judge.

Schumer said he would object to any agreement allowing a vote on Coburn's language, which prompted Coburn to say that he would object to consideration of any other amendments after the four to be debated Friday morning.

Regardless of this possible hurdle, senators said late Thursday that they hope to be able to announce a final list of amendments that will get a vote.