Monday: Doc fix in the Senate

The Senate returns to work at 2 p.m., and in the late afternoon it's expected to pass a one-year doc fix patch.

Last week, the House passed the bill in an unexpected voice vote that was arranged between Republican and Democratic leaders. The voice vote let leaders dodge a risky roll call vote that could have seen the bill fail.

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Leaders of both parties see it as a must-pass bill that's needed to avoid a 24 percent cut to Medicare doctor reimbursement rates. Unless the Senate passes the doc fix bill today, that cut takes effect starting Tuesday.

Late today, the Senate will take up the bill, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, H.R. 4302.

The Senate may start with vote to waive a budget point of order against the bill. If the vote is called, the Senate is expected to waive the point of order, then proceed to passage by a 60-vote majority.

Afterwards, the Senate may also vote to proceed to legislation extending emergency unemployment benefits. The Senate held a procedural vote last week, and today's vote to proceed should let the Senate pass the bill later this week.

Before these votes, the Senate will vote at 5:30 p.m. to confirm John Owens to be a Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

The House is out today, which means members of the House are either raising money, signing up for ObamaCare, or watching baseball.