The Senate will debate legislation this week allowing Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran, while the House will begin consideration of spending bills for the upcoming fiscal year.

Senators will debate the Iran legislation on Monday, with votes on the proposal not expected until at least Tuesday. Debate on the Iran measure is expected to take up most of the week.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) urged his colleagues last week to pass the legislation without any changes and pledged to veto any "poisonous" amendments. 


But Republicans have so far filed amendments that could require Democrats to take tough votes, and potentially threaten the White House's support of the legislation. 

Presidential hopefuls Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have filed amendments to the legislation, including requiring the release of Americans currently being held in Iran and bolstering congressional review of any final deal.

Budget agreement, appropriations

The House will mark the earliest start to the annual appropriations process since 1974 this week when it takes up the first two fiscal 2016 spending bills.

The two appropriations bills funding the Department of Veterans' Affairs and military construction projects, as well as the Department of Energy and water infrastructure, are among the easiest to pass. Ten other annual appropriations measures will remain.

"It is our goal…to get all bills done through the House in regular order," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said last week. 

Congress has not passed all 12 annual appropriations bills before the start of the next fiscal year under "regular order" since the 1990s.

The House passed only seven out of 12 appropriations bills last year, while the Senate did not pass any. As a result, Congress passed a two-month stopgap bill funding the entire federal government before heading out to campaign for the 2014 midterm elections, and later agreed to the so-called "cromnibus" that funded all but the Department of Homeland Security through September 2015.

Before it can get started on appropriations, however, the House and Senate must adopt a final budget agreement. But House GOP leaders expect the conference committee ironing out differences between the two chambers' respective budgets to be completed by early next week.

Japan's state visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday morning. 

He'll be the third foreign leader to address Congress this year, following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

In addition, Abe will be the first Japanese leader to speak before the U.S. legislative body. President Obama will also host Abe for a state dinner at the White House on Tuesday evening.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers last week urged Abe to "squarely face history" and directly apologize for Japan's controversial activities during World War II.

Below is a daily breakdown of the week ahead:


The Senate will convene at 3 p.m., when they are expected to restart debate on the Iran legislation. At 5 p.m., they'll take up the nomination of Dava Newman to be deputy administrator of NASA, with a vote expected around 5:30 p.m.  

The House will meet for a pro forma session at 8 p.m. No votes are expected.


The Senate will continue consideration of the Iran bill. But 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 noon for morning hour debate and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes on noncontroversial bills considered under suspension of the rules will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of Congress at 10 a.m. in the House chamber.

Later in the day, the House will likely vote on the final budget agreement as the Senate continues with the Iran measure. 


Assuming the budget conference agreement is adopted, the House will move forward with its first appropriations bill. Both spending measures will be considered under a freewheeling process allowing members to offer an unlimited number of amendments.

The Senate may conduct more votes on the Iran bill before leaving town for the week.


The House will vote on the second appropriations bill before adjourning for a weeklong recess.

The Senate is not expected to be in session.

— This story was updated at 11:25 a.m.