The House this week approved a bill that provides long-term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, with the support of 24 Democrats. These Democrats saw the bill as far from perfect, in particular the tougher rules on labor unions, but saw enough benefits of a stable funding path for the FAA that they supported it, and many Senate Democrats will follow suit in supporting that bill next week.

The House and Senate have a chance to keep up this small bipartisan streak in the next few weeks, when some agreement will be needed to extend the payroll tax cut holiday. Yes, Republicans still want to pay for that extension with spending cuts, and yes, Democrats still want to pay for it through a tax hike on the wealthy.


But House Republicans in particular will be looking to avoid the optics of last December, when they pushed unsuccessfully for a tougher extension but lost the public relations battle against Senate Democrats. House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFake political signs target Democrat in Virginia Hillicon Valley: GOP leader wants Twitter CEO to testify on bias claims | Sinclair beefs up lobbying during merger fight | Facebook users experience brief outage | South Korea eyes new taxes on tech Sinclair hired GOP lobbyists after FCC cracked down on proposed Tribune merger MORE (R-Va.) said Friday that he's hoping for a deal in an "expeditious manner," a sign that compromise may still be in the air.

True, neither party is ready to bring the other home to meet mom and dad. Cantor spent time Friday blaming Senate Democrats for refusing to consider serious spending cuts, such as freezing federal salaries. And House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that despite the GOP's promise of cooperation, Republicans need to do more convincing when it comes to their federal highway bill, which Democrats roundly oppose.

Further, the House next week will call attention to a major difference between the parties by pushing two additional budget reform bills, after having passed two related bills this week.

Still, next week could continue to demonstrate that on must-pass issues, the two parties are finding ways to relate to each other, and even work together.

Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:


The House meets at noon for speeches and then at 2 p.m. for legislative work. Republicans are expected to call up three bills under a suspension of House rules:

H.R. 306, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act,

H.R. 1162, to provide the Quileute Indian tribe tsunami and flood protection, and,

H.R. 2606, the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act.

The Senate meets at 2 p.m. for speeches, and later will begin consideration of H.R. 658, the FAA funding bill. The Senate is in session for the week and but has no definite plans beyond Monday.

Tuesday - Wednesday

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches and noon to work on four bills. One of these is S. 2038, the Senate-passed Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) act.

Two budget reform bills will also come up:

H.R. 3521, the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act, which would allow Congress to consider budget rescissions proposed by the White House, and,

H.R. 3581, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act, which would bring some off-budget items, like government-sponsored entities, back onto the formal budget.

The House is also expected to consider H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act.


The House meets at 9 a.m. to finish work on any outstanding bill, and last votes are expected by 3 p.m. The House may also consider possible motions to instruct conferees on the payroll tax holiday extension bill during the week.


The House is not in session.