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The Senate is heading out of Washington until mid-January after sending a massive end-of-the-year spending bill to President Obama’s desk.

While the upper chamber will convene on Jan. 4 for a pro-forma session, senators aren’t expected back at the Capitol until a week later, on Monday, Jan. 11 — a day before Obama’s final State of the Union address.

{mosads}Once lawmakers return, they’re expected to vote on a long-stalled judicial nomination, as well as have a procedural vote on taking up legislation from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would require an audit of the Federal Reserve. 

“The Fed operating under a cloak of secrecy has gone on for far too long,” Paul said in a statement after Republicans set up the vote. “The American people have a right to know exactly how Washington is spending their money. The time to act is now.”

The Kentucky Republican, who is running for president, has long pushed for a vote on his legislation, but it had stalled in the Banking Committee after getting pushback from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the committee’s chairman. 

Paul will need 60 votes to overcome the procedural hurdle. 

Leadership is also already setting its sights on making sure it’s able to complete the appropriations process, including moving the 12 individual stand-alone bills. 

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on Friday that Democrats were committed to being cooperative as long as they got a “fair process.” 

Referring to Reid’s comments, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) added: “I say amen. Help us do it, and we’ll do it.” 

The Republican leader finished the year touting legislation passed since his party took over the Senate majority in January, including an overhaul of the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, a cybersecurity bill and a long-term infrastructure funding measure. 

Taking a last-minute victory lap on the Senate floor, McConnell said he was “humbled” that voters helped Republicans secure the majority during the last election, adding that lawmakers had returned the upper chamber to a “higher purpose.” 

The House adjourned earlier Friday.

Tags Harry Reid Mitch McConnell Rand Paul

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