The House appears to have so little left in the way of actual legislating at this point in the year that House Republicans decided to cut the week short. Members will be in from Monday to Wednesday, but cut a planned Thursday session.


The House will use the short week to take up some suspension bills, but it will mark the third week since the election of a very light schedule for legislators.

The Senate is also waiting for a deal on the cliff, but is a little busier given its backlog of authorization bills that it failed to get to during the year. Senators made substantial progress on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week, and is hoping to finish work on that bill early next week. The Senate also hopes to pass a UN treaty on rights for the disabled.

Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:


The Senate meets at 2 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. will hold two roll call votes. One is on the nomination of Paul Grimm to be a U.S. District Judge for Maryland. The other will be to end debate on S. 3254, the NDAA.

The Senate tried late Friday to reach a deal allowing the quick approval of more than 100 amendments to the NDAA, but senators said the needed more time to finalize it. Amendment votes are now expected at least through Tuesday, and possibly further into the week.

The House meets at noon for speeches and then at 2 p.m. for legislative work. No roll call votes are planned, but members will consider one suspension bill and could approve it by voice vote. The bill is H.R. 5817, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act.

The House will adjourn early for the annual White House-Congress ball.


The Senate has a scheduled noon vote on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Three dozen Republicans have said they oppose consideration of this treaty, which was debated this week. If the 36 Republicans hold firm against the treaty, the Senate will not have enough votes to approve it — a two-thirds majority will be needed.

The Senate is in session for the rest of the week but has no definitive plans after Tuesday.

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches then at noon, and is expected to consider up to eight suspension bills. They are:

H.Res. __, providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendments to H.R. 2838

H.R. 6582, to allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals, and to make technical corrections to existing Federal energy efficiency laws to allow American manufacturers to remain competitive

H.R. 6602, to make revisions in title 36, United States Code, as necessary to keep the title current and make technical corrections and improvements

H.R. 6605, to eliminate an unnecessary reporting requirement for an unfunded DNA Identification grant program

H.R. 6620, to eliminate certain limitations on the length of Secret Service Protection for former Presidents and for the children of former Presidents

H.R. 6223, to amend section 1059(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 to clarify that a period of employment abroad by the Chief of Mission or United States Armed Forces as a translator, interpreter, or in an executive level security position is to be counted as a period of residence and physical presence in the United States for purposes of qualifying for naturalization if at least a portion of such period was spent in Iraq or Afghanistan

S. 3486, the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012

S. 2367, the 21st Century Language Act of 2012


The House meets at 9 a.m. to finish up legislative work, and last votes are expected by 3 p.m.

The House is not expected to be in Thursday or Friday, although as Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE (R-Va.) said, negotiations on the fiscal cliff are ongoing, and the House will not adjourn for the year without passing some solution to the cliff.

At some point during the week, the House may consider six bills that would grant permanent resident status to various people. All of these bills were sponsored by House Democrats: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyWarren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch MORE (Mass.), Henry Waxman (Calif.), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Charlie Rangel (N.Y.), and John Conyers (Mich.).


No votes are expected in the House.

— This story was corrected Monday to reflect that the UN treaty will need a two-thirds majority in the Senate, not 60 votes.