Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver his controversial address to Congress this week as lawmakers work yet again to avoid a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.

Congress cleared a week-long stopgap funding measure for the DHS on Friday night just under two hours before the original midnight deadline. That means debate over attaching language to the DHS funding bill that would revoke President Obama's executive actions on immigration will drag on for at least another five days.


House GOP leaders are denying that they made a deal with Democrats to eventually bring up the Senate-passed funding measure without immigration-related provisions attached that would last through the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30. 

There's at least one more round to go before House Republicans could finally concede. The Senate will vote Monday at 5:30 p.m. on the motion to invoke cloture on starting conference negotiations with the House on the DHS funding bill. But because that would need 60 votes and help from Democrats to move forward, it is expected to fall short. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that conference negotiations over the DHS measure are a nonstarter.

Complicating matters is that the House is scheduled to leave town on Thursday for a weeklong recess, further condensing the time left to resolve the issue.

Netanyahu address

The Israeli prime minister will address a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday at 11 a.m., two weeks before his country's elections are set to take place. Netanyahu is expected to criticize the Iran nuclear negotiations and urge support against a deal. 

Many Democrats plan to boycott the speech due to concerns about the way the speech was organized without consent from the Obama administration and because they worry Netanyahu is using the speech for his own reelection purposes. Democrats are further concerned that the speech will throw a wrench into delicate international negotiations over curtailing Iran's nuclear program.

President Obama has said he won't meet with Netanyahu while he's in Washington. And in a further show of how sour relations have become with Israel, both Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will miss the speech due to travel plans. 

Keystone pipeline

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to move forward this week on an effort to override Obama's veto of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Republicans expressed outrage over the veto last week, though it was widely expected. 

If every Republican, as well as the nine Democrats who initially supported the bill, were to vote to override the president's veto, Republicans would need to find another four votes to be successful. 

The Senate is expected to vote on overriding the president's veto by Tuesday. Even if the vote fails, lawmakers could attach the pipeline to a larger energy package. 

Amtrak funding

If Congress doesn't already seem close to coming off the rails this week amid the DHS and Netanyahu drama, the House will also take up a bill authorizing funds for Amtrak. 

The bipartisan bill authored by House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) would authorize funding for Amtrak through fiscal 2019. Funding in the measure would go toward the Northeast Corridor Improvement Fund, the Office of Inspector General and national infrastructure grants.

The federal government has typically given Amtrak about $1 billion annually for its operations.

'Secret science' bills

The House will also consider legislation this week to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations based on scientific data not made available to the public.

Republicans have accused the EPA of trying to avoid public scrutiny of its decisions, while Democrats say the measure would force the EPA to violate confidentiality of patients involved in scientific health research.

Another bill slated for floor debate would change the process of selecting members of the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board and the terms of office. Both measures passed in the House last November along party lines.

Attorney general nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted last week to send Loretta Lynch's nomination to be the next attorney general to the full Senate. 

Lynch received the backing of three Republicans during her committee vote, and will likely be confirmed by the Senate. But conservative Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have vowed to oppose Lynch because of the ongoing fight over President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Though a vote on her nomination hasn't been scheduled yet, senators could take it up as soon as this week.


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


The House will convene at noon for morning debate and at 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on two bills considered under suspension of the rules regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). One measure would allow the VA to enter contracts for transferring veterans to non-departmental medical foster homes, while the other bill would allow the VA secretary to rescind bonuses and awards to VA employees.

The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to file cloture on a motion to go to a conference committee with House lawmakers on how to fund the Department of Homeland Security. After up to two hours of debate, senators will take a procedural vote requiring 60 votes to advance at 5:30 p.m. 


The House will convene at 9:30 a.m. for legislative business and recess immediately. At 10:45 a.m., the House will reconvene to receive Benjamin Netanyahu for his address to Congress. Later in the day, the House may vote on the Amtrak funding bill.

The Senate will likely convene by 10 a.m. and then recess so that senators can attend the prime minister's speech across the Capitol in the House chamber. After Netanyahu's address, the Senate will likely be in recess again to accommodate the weekly party caucus luncheons, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  The Senate may also vote to override President Obama's veto against a bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline, which would need 67 votes to succeed.


The House will convene at 10 a.m. for morning debate and noon for legislative business. Legislation regarding "secret science" at the Environmental Protection Agency will likely be slated for votes.

The Senate could start teeing up the Lynch nomination or may be working on Department of Homeland Security funding.


The House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business and will likely take up legislation in some form to avoid a Department of Homeland Security shutdown. Last votes are currently scheduled for no later than 3 p.m., but they could be later if complications arise.

The Senate will likely also be focused on DHS funding as it awaits whatever comes back from the House.

Jordain Carney contributed.