A closer look at next week…

House leaders have already announced that the waiting may continue for longer than some expected. The House was originally scheduled to be done for the year at the end of this week, but Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will now be in the week of December 17.

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In the meantime, the House has plans to consider more suspension bills, including proposals to require a tougher audit of the Department of Homeland Security, and tougher scrutiny of improper federal payments. On Tuesday, the House will also pass a motion to go to conference with the Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate has plans early in the week to advance a bill that would extend a federal guarantee for certain bank accounts, something banks and credit unions say is needed given the ongoing economic uncertainty.

Several other issues have the potential to come up at any time in the coming weeks, including a bill to authorize new money to help with Hurricane Sandy cleanup, a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and a farm bill. But when, and in what form, no one knows.

Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:

Monday


The Senate meets at 2 p.m. for speeches, and at 5 p.m., senators will take up S. 3637, which would extend a guarantee program for certain banks.

Specifically, the bill extends the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program. TAG was created during the financial crisis, and provides government guarantees for non-interest-bearing bank accounts used by small companies and municipalities.

The transaction accounts are used by companies and local governments to hold large amounts of money for a brief period of time. Financial institutions say the government guarantee — which insures $1.4 trillion — needs to be extended given the ongoing economic uncertainty.

At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will hold a roll call vote on a motion to end debate on the motion to proceed to the bill.

The Senate is in for the rest of the week but with no definitive plans past Monday. The House is out Monday.

Tuesday

The House meets at noon for speeches and 2 p.m. for legislative work, which will consist of a motion to go to conference on H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate this week approved its version, S. 3254.

The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to approve a rule allowing the House to pass suspension bills through Thursday. Normally suspension bills are done Monday through Wednesday.

Wednesday-Thursday

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches and noon for legislative work on Wednesday. On Thursday it meets at 9 a.m. to complete any unfinished work.

Work on these days will consist of up to eight suspension bills:

H.R. 6190, the Asthma Inhalers Relief Act, allowing the remaining stock of the Primatene Mist inhaler to be sold on U.S. shelves. These asthma inhalers were banned from sale to comply with an environmental treaty. The House was slated to take up this bill in November, but delayed a vote on the bill.

H.R. 5817, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act. This bill would allow certain banks to only inform consumers of their data privacy policies when those policies change, not every year. The House debated this bill this week, but did not vote on it.

S. 3542, the No-Hassle Flying Act, allowing airports to pre-clear luggage from some countries.

S. 1998, the DART Act, aimed at improving the financial accountability of the Department of Homeland Security.

H.R. 6364, the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act.

H.R. 4053, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act. This bill requires the Office of Management and Budget to identify programs that pose a risk of improper payments, and set a plan for reducing this risk.

S. 3315, the GAO Mandates Revision Act, reducing the frequency of various required GAO reports.

S. 1379, the D.C. Courts and Public Defender Service Act, revising administrative authorities of the DC courts and authorizing the DC Public Defender Service to provide liability insurance for its employees.

Friday

The House is out.