House and Senate lawmakers are under pressure this week to pass a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown and an authorization to arm Syrian rebels before taking off for the campaign trail.
An authorization to arm vetted moderate Syrian rebels to fight Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as requested by the Obama administration last week, may be part of the short-term funding bill.
However, many members of both parties are urging their leadership to hold a separate vote on an issue with the magnitude of military intervention. A decision will be made as early as Monday on the procedure.
The House will go first on the CR and Syria authorization, and the Senate is expected to follow.
Administration officials will be testifying on Capitol Hill this week before four House and Senate committees to make their case, including Secretary of State John KerryJohn Kerry Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington Biden confirms 30 percent global methane reduction goal, urges 'highest possible ambitions' 9/11 and US-China policy: The geopolitics of distraction MORE, Secretary of Defense Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelAfghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden: 'If they find me, they will kill me' Afghan interpreter who helped extract Biden, other senators in 2008 asks president to save him Democrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance MORE and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Chambers tackle messaging bills
Senate Democrats will take up more messaging bills they have already passed to reiterate its closing argument before the November elections.
The Senate will vote Monday evening on a vote to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to boost pay equity for women by allowing workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination and punishing employers that retaliate against workers sharing wage information.
As it waits for the CR and authorization to arm Syrian rebels from the House, the Senate may also vote again on a bill that would allow people to refinance their student loans.
Like Senate Democrats, House Republicans will also vote this week on bills they have already passed to emphasize what they view as the other party's obstruction.
The House will take up a consolidated package of 15 so-called jobs bills that the Senate has ignored throughout the 113th Congress. Such measures include renewing expired tax breaks and repealing the mandate that all employers with 50 or more workers provide health insurance.
Additionally, the House will consider a package of 14 bills it has already passed to boost domestic energy production, such as allowing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The House will consider legislation to highlight committees' investigation of the Internal Revenue Service for its alleged targeting of conservative nonprofits applying for tax-exempt status.
One measure would prevent IRS employees from using personal email accounts to conduct official business, while another would establish a process for firing federal employees who falsify or destroy records.
Ukrainian president address
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will address a joint session of Congress at 10 a.m. on Thursday. He will also meet with President Obama later in the day.
Poroshenko’s address will come as Ukraine struggles to maintain a cease-fire with Russian separatists.
Below is a day-to-day schedule of the week ahead:
The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. for leadership remarks. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on a motion to invoke cloture on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Following the cloture vote, the Senate will vote to invoke cloture on the nominations of Jeffery Martin Baran and Stephen G. Burns to be members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The House will vote at 6:30 p.m. on a series of bills under suspension of the rules, including a bicameral deal, S. 1086, to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act.
The Senate is expected to vote at 2:15 p.m. on confirmation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission nominations. Senators may also continue consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act if it advances Monday night. Otherwise, it may turn to the student loans bill.
The House may vote on the continuing resolution and an authorization to arm Syrian rebels. Otherwise, it may vote on more bills under suspension of the rules, including:
- H.R. 5418, to prevent IRS employees from using personal email for official business.
- H.R. 5419, to affirm the right for an appeal of an IRS determination regarding an organization's tax-exempt status.
- H.R. 4137, to prevent welfare benefits from being used at stores that sell marijuana.
- H.R. 5169, to make senior executive federal employees subject to the same standards as other members of the civil service.
- H.R. 24, to require a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
- H.R. 5170, to create a process for firing federal employees who falsify or destroy records.
- S. 2258, to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase the rate of veterans' disability compensation by Dec. 1.
- A draft bill to limit the fees charged on air passengers.
The Senate will likely be working on a messaging bill.
The House may consider the continuing resolution or authorization to arm Syrian rebels if it has not voted on them Tuesday. It may consider more suspensions. Additionally, the House may consider a consolidated package of "jobs bills" it has already passed.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will address a joint session of Congress at 10 a.m.
The House may consider another consolidated package of bills it has already passed to boost domestic energy production.
The schedule for both the House and Senate is unclear for Friday until both chambers have moved to the continuing resolution and authorization to arm Syrian rebels.
- Ramsey Cox contributed.