This week: House GOP chooses new leadership

For the second time in less than a year, House Republicans will select a new leadership hierarchy this week.

Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's 12:30 Report Will guns be an issue in midterms? You can bet on it in these districts Time to set politics aside to move ahead on criminal justice reform MORE (R-Wash.), chairwoman of the House GOP conference, has indicated that closed-door elections will be held at noon Thursday for Speaker and “any other vacancies that may occur.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the front-runner to win his party’s nomination to succeed retiring John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) as Speaker. He faces long-shot challenges from House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzTucker Carlson: Ruling class cares more about foreigners than their own people Fox's Kennedy chides Chaffetz on child migrants: 'I’m sure these mini rapists all have bombs strapped to their chests' After FBI cleared by IG report, GOP must reform itself MORE (R-Utah) and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

Republicans will only have to vote for a new majority leader if McCarthy wins the Speaker race. And a whip race would occur if House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is chosen to replace McCarthy as leader over Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).

Thursday’s election will be the easy part for McCarthy if he wins the nomination. The full House must vote to elect a new Speaker, which requires 218 votes. That floor vote isn’t expected until the end of October, around the time BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE steps down from Congress.

House GOP leaders also plan to host a “listening session” on Tuesday to discuss possible conference rule changes, such as requiring anyone running for a new leadership post to resign their current slot. Possible votes on changing rules could come Wednesday. 

The process may feel familiar to House Republicans, who voted to select a new majority leader last June after Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement MORE (R-Va.) lost his primary election to Rep. Dave Brat.

Defense bill 

The Senate is turning to an annual defense bill this week despite a looming veto threat. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Charles Krauthammer dies at the age of 68 Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a procedural vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Tuesday after the House-Senate conference committee released its final proposal last week. 

Democrats have vowed to block any spending bills, and the Republican leader told reporters that he hopes "we're not going to see this stunt" on the defense bill. 

While the NDAA doesn't appropriate any money, Democrats oppose it because of an extra $38 billion included in war funding. 

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: States pull National Guard troops over family separation policy | Senators question pick for Afghan commander | US leaves UN Human Rights Council Senators question Afghanistan commander nominee on turning around 17-year war Reed: ‘Preposterous’ for Trump to say North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat MORE (D-R.I.), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, called the additional money a "gimmick" meant to let the Defense Department leapfrog over congressionally-mandated spending caps. 

But it's unclear if Senate Democrats will try to filibuster the bill. The Senate's version of the NDAA passed earlier this year by a 71-25 vote, meaning they would need to flip more than a dozen Democrats to oppose the bill.

A Senate aide suggested that the bigger focus was on keeping the legislation from getting 67 votes — the amount needed to override a potential veto. 

Obama has pledged to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

While the president has threatened to veto the legislation every year, he's never sent the bill back to Congress. If he does, it will be the fifth veto he's used during his time in office.

Senators aren’t expected to take a procedural vote on the NDAA until Tuesday. The Senate will convene at 4 p.m. Monday, with a vote on Dale Drozd's nomination to be a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of California expected at 5:30 p.m.

Crude oil export ban

The House will vote Friday on legislation to lift the decades-old ban on crude oil exports from the United States. 

Republicans argue repealing the ban would benefit the economy and national security, while Democrats warn it could interfere with energy prices. 

President Obama will likely threaten to veto the bill. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said earlier this month that the administration supports the current export restrictions.

Lawmakers will also consider a bill authored by Rep. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungSupreme court to rehear Alaska moose hunter, hovercraft case Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise Our leaders must end the hate before they burn America down MORE (R-Alaska) on Thursday to streamline the process for obtaining appraisals and permits on Native American and Alaska Native lands. 

 Scott Wong and Timothy Cama contributed.