UPDATE: Events of Interest: Week of December 13-17, 2010

UPDATE: Events of Interest: Week of December 13-17, 2010

UPDATE: The NRC meeting on orbital debris for Dec. 13-15 has been added.

The following events may be of interest in the coming week. See our calendar on the right menu for more details or click the links below.

During the Week

This week is supposed to be the final week of the 111th Congress, though much work remains to be done. First and foremost is providing funding for the government after the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on December 18. The House passed a new CR last week to fund the government through the rest of FY2011. Senate Appropriations Chairman Inouye (D-HI) at last report still wanted to try and insert in lieu of the House provisions an omnibus package of all 12 regular appropriations bills. Some Senate Republicans reportedly want to substitute a shorter-term CR that would last only until perhaps February. NASA did quite well — all things considered — in the House-passed CR, but it is too early for anyone to celebrate yet.

The need to pass a new CR (or an omnibus) is indisputable, but Senate Republicans are insisting that they will not allow any legislation to be brought up until the tax deal President Obama struck with them is passed. Thus, the first order of business for the Senate on Monday is that tax package. Many Democrats are very unhappy with it, but rumors are that it will pass the Senate. What will happen in the House is more problematic. The House Democratic Caucus made it clear that House Democrats do not support the deal, but the White House is trying hard to convince them that it is the best the Democratic Party can get to ensure that taxes on lower and middle income families don’t go up next year. President Obama has brought in former President Bill Clinton to help sell it.

The last week of any Congress in recent memory has been chaotic, and it often seems that agreement will never be reached in time, but somehow they always seem to work something out. Thus, one can anticipate chaos throughout the week, and while there is always a chance that agreement will not be reached and the government would have to shut down at midnight on December 18, such an outcome does not appear to be in either party’s best interest.

Monday, December 13

Monday-Wednesday, December 13-15

Monday-Friday, December 13-17

Wednesday, December 15

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