This week: Clock ticking to avoid shutdown
© Greg Nash

The clock is ticking for Congress to move a government spending bill by the end of next week in a bid to avoid a shutdown.

A major flashpoint emerging for the catchall spending bill, known as an omnibus, is the continuation of the Obama administration's refugee resettlement program in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. 

The Senate could take up a bill passed by the House before the Thanksgiving break to prevent any refugees from Syria or Iraq from entering the U.S., until the government can certify none of them pose security threats. But Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations Republicans come full circle with Supreme Court battle to the end MORE (D-Nev.) indicated that Democrats would filibuster the legislation and uphold President Obama's veto threat.

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Other potential policy riders attached to the omnibus could prove nettlesome for lawmakers, such as measures to roll back Wall Street and environmental regulations.

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee said late last week that timing for the omnibus text's release had not yet been decided. 

But cutting the release of the omnibus close to the Dec. 11 deadline would likely cause lawmakers to balk at the limited time given to review the legislation's details.

Highway funding

The first imminent deadline Congress faces this week is the expiration of transportation funding on Friday.

Lawmakers approved a two-week stopgap highway funding measure before departing for the Thanksgiving holiday recess to buy time for negotiators to work out a long-term bill. Bicameral negotiators are still trying to agree on ways to fund transportation projects for at least three years without raising the gas tax.

The House and Senate committee chairmen overseeing the effort insist the two-week stopgap will be the last temporary highway funding patch.

Congress has not passed an infrastructure measuring lasting more than two years since 2005, much to the chagrin of transportation advocates.

ObamaCare repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Senate candidate: Kavanaugh 'debacle' 'hugely motivating' to Missouri voters Trump praises McConnell: He ‘stared down the angry left-wing mob’ to get Kavanaugh confirmed Murkowski not worried about a Palin challenge MORE (R-Ky.) said that lawmakers would turn to the reconciliation measure after Thanksgiving and fast track the House-passed bill to the Senate calendar. The move will allow it to be brought up on the floor, though it hasn't been officially teed up. 

But the Republican leader could face a battle to get the 51 votes needed to move the ObamaCare repeal package through the Senate.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Senators concerned as Trump official disputes UN climate change warning Rubio: Response to death of Saudi journalist 'can't be symbolic' MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Donald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force MORE (Texas), who are both running for the Republican presidential nomination, and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah) have threatened to oppose any legislation that doesn’t fully repeal ObamaCare.

If the three oppose the legislation, McConnell would need the support of every other Republican senator to get the reconciliation bill passed.

McConnell also said ahead of the Thanksgiving break that he was confident a defunding of Planned Parenthood would be included. That, however, has raised concerns from moderate Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Kavanaugh debate was destructive tribalism on steroids: Here’s how we can stop it from happening again Conservative group launches ad campaign thanking Collins after Kavanaugh vote Democrats must end mob rule MORE (Maine) and blue-state senators up for reelection in 2016, including Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (R-Ill.).

Energy votes amid Paris talks

The House is slated to consider a legislative package this week overhauling the nation's energy laws, including an expansion of liquefied natural gas exports and updates to energy efficiency policies.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said during the committee markup this fall that it would be the "first attempt at significant energy legislation" since 2007. 

Also on the House calendar are two Senate-passed resolutions to overturn Obama administration greenhouse gas and carbon emissions regulations for power plants. 

This week's votes come as President Obama and other world leaders begin meeting in Paris on Monday to agree on an international accord to combat global warming. 

The regulations are a major part of the Obama administration's stance heading into the climate negotiations to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

The White House has said President Obama would veto both resolutions if they reached his desk.

- Keith Laing and Devin Henry contributed.