This week: CBO to deliver post-'fiscal cliff' outlook

In the House, Republican leaders will look to keep up budgetary pressure on Democrats by advancing a new bill.

The latest measure, set to be marked up by the House Rules Committee on Monday and voted on by the full chamber next week, would require President Obama to either put forward a balanced budget or identify when his policies would lead to balance.

The bill comes just days after Congress approved another House GOP bill that suspends the debt limit and requires both chambers to produce budgets for lawmakers to receive their paychecks.

The odds are long that Senate Democrats, not to mention the White House, would give this new measure any traction.

The House Financial Services Committee will begin to dig into the troubled finances of the Federal Housing Administration, which is billions of dollars underwater on the insurance fund it uses to back home mortgages.

Wednesday’s hearing to explore the agency’s finances and role in the housing market will be just the first in a series, according to new committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). Lawmakers will hear from experts and analysts about the FHA.

Both the House and Senate will be holding shorter-than-usual work weeks as Democrats in both chambers spend some of the time holding their separate retreats.

House Democrats will gather in Virginia, while their Senate counterparts will huddle in Maryland, to plot out strategy for the coming Congress, including pending debates on sequestration, funding the government, and the debt limit. President Obama is expected to pay a visit to both retreats to deliver his message to party members.

The Postal Service, which racked up billions of dollars in red ink in fiscal 2012, is scheduled to release its latest quarterly figures Friday.

After lawmakers fell short during the last Congress, USPS officials have urged the House and Senate to move quickly on postal reform legislation.