By Ramsey Cox
The Senate adjourned Friday afternoon, after a week full of passing a bipartisan budget deal, the Defense spending bill and confirming several of President Obama's nominees.
On Thursday night, it was unclear if the Senate would have to continue to work on nominations through the weekend, but as it is often threatened and rarely occurs, it was not surprising that Senate leaders reached an agreement to avoid a prolonged schedule.
But before adjourning for the year, the Senate passed a resolution condemning Iran’s human rights violations.
When the Senate returns in January, it could consider more Iran sanctions, despite the White House’s request that lawmakers wait to see if a negotiated agreement between the U.S. and Iran works. Under the agreement, Iran receives some sanctions relief in exchange for stopping the pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
The Senate also passed two House bills through a unanimous consent agreement.
H.R. 3343 amends the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to clarify rules regarding compensation for the Chief Financial Officer of the District. The bill ensures DC has the option of providing adequate compensation for the CFO, up to the level of a senior executive service official in the federal government.
H.R. 3487 amends the Federal Election Campaign Act to extend the authority of the FEC to impose civil penalties. This bill extends for five years the ability of the FEC to impose fines for minor violations, such as late filings, according to a set fee schedule, which allows for faster decisions.
Both bills passed in the House last month, meaning the legislation heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.
If the House passed an adjournment resolution next week, the Senate won't return until Jan. 6, when it will vote to confirm Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve and vote on whether to consider an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.