With time running out before the Thanksgiving holiday and the continuing resolution to fund the federal government set to expire Friday, Congress, now more than a month into the new fiscal year, will be busy after Veterans Day keeping the government financially afloat and debating appropriations bills.
Last week, legislators attached a stopgap measure to the Defense appropriations bill in order to continue funding the government. They also finished working on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which President Bush threatened to veto because the bill gives more money to domestic programs than he requested.
This week they may take up several other domestic spending bills, as well as discuss a $50 billion "bridge fund" that would pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats may include a measure that would mandate that the president start withdrawing troops immediately.
Also on the Hill this week: Legislators will again take up the farm bill, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy may allow the committee to vote on a controversial proposal to shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits for having helped the Bush administration spy on U.S. citizens without warrants.