Immigration and the Keystone pipeline will top the second week of the new Congress before House and Senate Republicans head to their joint retreat in Hershey, Pa.

House Republicans will deliver their opening salvo ahead of a Feb. 27 deadline to respond to President Obama's executive action in November to shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation. 


The House plans to take up a $39.7 billion measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September either on Tuesday or Wednesday. Members will consider amendments on the floor to defund Obama's most recent immigration action and roll back a 2012 order to defer deportations for certain immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Republican lawmakers say starting on the immigration issue now will give the Senate and President Obama ample time to respond and forge a compromise before the February deadline. It also maintains a pledge from GOP leaders to challenge President Obama's immigration action once they took control of Congress, instead of last month during debate over a government-wide spending bill.


The Senate will take its first procedural vote on a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline Monday evening at 5:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE (R-Ky.) has pledged to consider the measure under a freewheeling open amendment process. Debate on the bill will likely go on for days if Democrats drag out every procedural hurdle.

The House passed a similar measure on Friday despite a veto threat from President Obama. But the House vote didn't achieve a veto-proof majority, and the Senate is unlikely to secure the necessary 67 votes to do so either.

Regulatory reform, Dodd-Frank bills

House Republicans last week tried to pass a bill to make changes to Wall Street reform, but Democrats prevented it from passing under a fast-track procedure that requires a two-thirds majority. The measure will be considered under a procedure this week only requiring a simple majority, ensuring its passage.

Democrats particularly objected to a provision in the 11-part bill that delays for two years the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks that make loans and deposits from engaging in speculative activity.

The House will also consider legislation to require federal agencies to estimate direct and indirect costs of regulations on the economy.

GOP and Senate Democrat retreats

House and Senate Republicans will gather for a joint retreat in Hershey, Pa. on Thursday and Friday. Topics of discussion are expected to include the party's response to President Obama's unilateral action on immigration and how they can use a budget tool known as reconciliation to repeal the 2010 healthcare overhaul.

Senate Democrats will hold their retreat in Baltimore, Md. on the same days as Republicans, although an injured Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGraham signals support for confirming a Supreme Court nominee this year Trump signals he will move to replace Ginsburg 'without delay' Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden MORE (D-Nev.) won’t be able to make it after an exercising accident earlier this month.

Lawmakers subsequently will have a truncated workweek from just Monday to Wednesday afternoon.

The House Democratic retreat will be later this month, Jan. 29-30.

Below is a day-by-day breakdown of the week ahead:


The House will convene at noon for morning hour debate and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes on bills considered under suspension of the rules will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. One of those bills will be a measure to help prevent veteran suicides, which passed in the House last month but hit a roadblock in the form of now-retired Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCOVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 Congress must protect federal watchdogs MORE (R-Okla.).

The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. for leadership remarks. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote whether to end debate on the motion to proceed to a bill to approve the Keystone pipeline.


The House is expected to consider the Dodd-Frank and regulatory reform bills.

The Senate will continue consideration of the Keystone measure. The chamber is expected to recess from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. for the weekly party caucus luncheons.


The House will likely take up the DHS spending bill if it didn't do so on Tuesday. Before final passage, the House will vote on multiple amendments to defund President Obama's immigration action and roll back the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program. Last votes of the week are expected around noon.

The Senate will continue consideration of the Keystone bill.