The House will take up legislation to beef up border security this week, while the Senate will approach the finish line for a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

The border security measure, slated for a Wednesday vote, will be the week's main attraction in the House as Republicans try to figure out how to fight back against President Obama's executive actions to delay deportations of illegal immigrants. 


The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be able to prevent all illegal crossings into the U.S., a term known as "operational control," within five years. DHS would need to have operational control at high-traffic areas of the southern border within two years. DHS political appointees would be ineligible for receiving bonuses if operational control isn't achieved within the specified time frames. 

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is urging Democrats to vote against the legislation, which is sponsored by Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Homeland Security Committee chairman. Republicans could also face defections from conservatives who don't think the measure goes far enough or worry it'll be used as a cover to vote for a DHS spending bill that doesn't seek to block the president's executive actions.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said the bill sets "impossible" standards that are "extreme to the point of being unworkable."

Keystone pipeline

The Senate is still working its way through amendments to a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Republicans and Democrats got into an ugly dispute late Thursday night when they couldn't reach an agreement on which amendments should get votes.

Senate Republicans heralded a statistic last week that the chamber has already voted on more amendments this month than all of last year when Democrats were in control.

A final vote on Keystone is expected later this week, concluding four weeks of protracted floor debate. However, as in the House vote earlier this month, it is not expected to achieve the 67-vote, veto-proof majority.

Natural gas exports, human trafficking

The House will take up legislation on Tuesday to speed up liquefied natural gas exports to allied countries. It would require the Department of Energy to decide on applications within 30 days after a review of the liquefied natural gas facilities. House Republicans passed a similar bill last June.

Additionally, the House will consider a series of bills to combat human trafficking similar to measures it passed last year in light of kidnappings of Nigerian schoolgirls by extremist group Boko Haram.

The House will have a truncated workweek from only Monday to Wednesday in order to accommodate the Democratic retreat in Philadelphia later in the week. 

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 will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on six bills to combat human trafficking. The measures include H.R. 515, which would mandate advance notice of intended travel by registered child-sex offenders to other countries, requiring the same of foreign sex offenders traveling to the U.S.

The Senate will convene at 4:30 p.m. to resume consideration of the Keystone bill. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on a substitute amendment offered by Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Kaine to force Senate to hold rare Saturday session amid shutdown MORE (R-Alaska), Senate Energy Committee chairwoman. 


The House will convene at 10 a.m. for morning hour debate and noon for legislative business. Legislation to expedite liquefied natural gas exports is slated for a vote. The House will also consider six more bills regarding human trafficking, including H.R. 285, which imposes a penalty for knowingly selling advertisements that offer certain commercial sex acts.

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


The House will convene at 9 a.m. to consider the border security bill. Last votes are expected around noon.

The Senate will likely still be debating the Keystone bill, possibly into Thursday or even Friday.