Lawmakers in both parties were outraged over leaks in news reports that went into details about a U.S. cyberattack against Iran, the U.S. drone program and other issues. The issue ignited when McCain suggested that these leaks were meant to bolster Obama's reelection campaign, which led Obama to say that suggestion is "offensive."
Before the leaks scandal, the Senate was preparing for what otherwise might have been a relatively calm week with the House not in session, giving senators time to make progress toward completing the farm bill. But even here, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will likely need to find a way around the seemingly endless requests for amendments.
Reid has often spent more than a week or more just to arrange deals on amendments for much smaller bills. But the farm bill is a giant, five-year, 1,000-page instruction manual for U.S. farm policy — and on top of that, includes controversial language on crop insurance reform and other issues — making Reid's task much more difficult.
Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:
The Senate meets at 2 p.m., ostensibly to take up the farm bill, S. 3240, although debate may wander into other issues. The motion to proceed to the bill will officially be approved by unanimous consent by the end of the day.
The Senate has also scheduled a 5:30 p.m. vote to end debate on the nomination of Andrew Hurwitz to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, although that procedural vote could be canceled if senators agree to let the nomination move ahead, in which case a confirmation vote could take place.
The Senate is in the rest of the week, but has no definitive plans past Monday. The House meets only for brief pro forma sessions on Tuesday and Friday.