Week ahead: Lawmakers face budget, tax deadlines

Lawmakers are racing to pass a spending bill and avoid a government shutdown with only days left in the lame-duck session.

On Monday, appropriators plan to unveil their “cromnibus” spending package. The package includes 11 long-term spending bills that will fund much of the government and a separate short-term bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security.

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The unorthodox bill is Republicans’ response to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and only funds those relevant agencies through early next year. Congress needs to pass the package before Dec. 12 to keep the government open.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE (R-Ohio) will likely need some Democrats to support his plan, with Tea Party groups such as Heritage Action already coming out against the deal.

House Democrats, though, are warning Republican leaders not to take their votes for granted. On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDems to FCC: Force Sinclair to sell stations for merger approval Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill Juan Williams: The politics of impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) said “destructive riders” in the must-pass budget could cost Democratic support.

The spending bill only tops a lengthy to-do list for Congress.

Lawmakers also need to vote on a series of tax breaks that are set to expire by the end of the year. The House this week passed a bill renewing the tax breaks, known as "extenders," for one year. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate could run out of time.

"We'll see," he said, about Congress’s ability to get the bill to Obama's desk.

The president nixed a bipartisan deal Reid was brokering with Republicans that would have made some of the tax extenders permanent over concerns it would hurt lower-income Americans.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingGOP eager for Trump shake-up at consumer bureau Trump considering Mulvaney to be interim CFPB head: report Overnight Regulation: Consumer chief resigning | DOJ issues warning on ‘sanctuary city’ policies | Panel votes to approve drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (R-Texas) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are also expected to reach a deal to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).

Lawmakers must reauthorize TRIA before the end of the year or it will expire.

Tea Partyers like Hensarling want to reform the program, which allows for the federal government to front the costs after a major terror attack such as Sept. 11. Hensarling and other TRIA critics argue that the program puts taxpayers at risk. He wants to increase the threshold for government funds after a terror attack.

Hensarling and Schumer are expected to agree to a six-year reauthorization, increasing the government trigger from $100 million in damages to $200 million.

On Monday, former aides to Bernie Madoff will be sentenced in Manhattan for their involvement in the former wealth manager’s Ponzi scheme that cost his customers $17.5 billion in savings.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity experts from five government agencies — Treasury, Homeland Security, the Comptroller of the Currency, Secret Service and FBI — are scheduled to testify.

 

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