The Week Ahead: Lame-duck race is on

The House and Senate return Monday from their Thanksgiving break to
resume the lame-duck session.

One remaining item on the agenda for the lower chamber is a censure
vote on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) — the ethics committee recommended
censure for the 20-term lawmaker and the full House has to vote on it.
It can pass with a simple majority.

{mosads}The House also has to address the “doc-fix,” which will prevent the cut
of Medicare payments to physicians. The House is scheduled to vote on
it Monday. The Senate approved the fix on Nov. 19.

The Senate could vote on a three-year moratorium on earmarks; 67 votes
are needed for passage, and reaching that threshold is considered
unlikely. The administration is pushing the upper chamber to hold a
vote on New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the U.S. and

Other items Congress must deal with before the end of the year:
whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts; passing a federal budget or a
continuing resolution to keep the government running; and extending
long-term unemployment benefits.

The Pentagon releases its one-year study on the repeal of “Don’t ask,
don’t tell” on Tuesday. Pentagon leaders will testify before the
Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday and Friday.

The president’s fiscal commission is scheduled to release its final
report this week. The co-chairmen issued a draft proposal in early
November on how to cut the deficit.

Monday, Nov. 29

Sen.-elect Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is sworn in to replace appointed Sen.
Roland Burris (D-Ill.). Kirk’s November general-election win doubled
as a special-election win.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree — a 67-foot spruce from the
Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming — arrives on Capitol Hill. This year’s
theme: “Forever West.” Photo op at 10 a.m. (The tree lighting will be
held Dec. 7.), Garfield Circle, First Street and Maryland Avenue NW.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson speaks at 8:30 a.m. at the Aspen
Institute on the Environmental Protection Agency’s accomplishments and
future direction. 1 Dupont Circle NW.

The American Action Forum holds an event, beginning at 9:30 a.m., on
how the midterm elections will affect the Democrats’ healthcare law at the
state and federal level. Among the scheduled speakers: Rep. Michael
Burgess (R-Texas) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000
H St. NW.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a conference
on the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization Beyond the Lisbon Summit,”
with a keynote address at noon by Michele Flournoy, defense
undersecretary for policy. 1800 K St. NW, 8:30 a.m.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks at a newsmaker luncheon at the
National Press Club at 12:30 p.m. 529 14th St. NW.

Tuesday, Nov. 30

President Obama hosts the bipartisan congressional leadership at the
White House. This meeting was originally scheduled for Nov. 18 but was
postponed at the request of the GOP leadership.

This will be the first public meeting of the president’s fiscal
commission since co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson released
their draft proposal on Nov. 10. The commission is scheduled to
deliver its final report at this meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in
the Dirksen Senate Office Building. A live webcast is available at

The Pentagon releases the results of its yearlong study into the
implications of repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) meets at 9:30 a.m. to
consider proposed new rules. 1155 21st St. NW.

Former President Jimmy Carter signs copies of his book, White House
Diary, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at D.C. bookstore Politics and Prose. 5015
Connecticut Ave. NW.

Bob Woodward discusses his book, Obama’s Wars, at 6 p.m. at George Washington University. 1957 E St. NW, Harry Harding Auditorium.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

A scheduled 23 percent cut to Medicare payments to doctors takes
effect unless the House passes the “doc fix.”

The fiscal debt commission holds a second day of public meetings,
beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen.

The CFTC meets again, also at 9:30 a.m.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves on a four-day trip to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan and Bahrain.

First lady Michelle Obama welcomes the military families who organized
the Anacostia Branch of the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots
drive. White House East Room, 12:30 p.m.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a 2:30
p.m. hearing on “Are Mini Med Policies Really Health Insurance?” 253

Thursday, Dec. 2

The Senate Armed Services hears testimony on the Pentagon’s study to
repeal its ban on gays in the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and the study’s
leaders — Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, and Gen. Carter Ham
— will testify. Room SD-G50 Dirksen, 9 a.m.

The president will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House.

The 17th annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest will be held,
including appearances by Tucker Carlson and Chef Geoff Tracy. It
begins at 7 p.m. at the DC Improv. Call 202-250-9193 for tickets.

Friday, Dec. 3

The second day of Armed Services hearings on the Pentagon’s “Don’t
ask, don’t tell” study are reserved for the military leaders of the
Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force — Gen. George Casey, Adm. Gary
Roughead, Gen. James Amos and Gen. Norton Schwartz — as well as Vice
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright. Room
SD-G50 Dirksen, 9 a.m.

The Labor Department releases its November jobs report.

—Roxana Tiron contributed to this article.

Tags Hillary Clinton Mark Kirk Michelle Obama Ron Wyden

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