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Post-Thanksgiving leftovers crowd Congress’ December plate

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Lawmakers have punted on funding the government until after the holidays, but there’s still plenty of issues they’ll have to confront before bolting from Washington later in December.

Among the items they’ll have to tackle once the Senate returns Monday (The House comes back Tuesday):

Supplemental: Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated in a Sunday “dear colleague” letter that legislation providing assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan could be on the floor “as soon as the week of December 4th.” Republicans have been insistent on border security policy changes as part of any such legislation, and lawmakers will have to work to reach a deal quickly ahead of floor consideration.

The annual defense policy bill: Lawmakers must resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

Military promotions: The Senate Rules Committee passed a resolution earlier this month that would allow the consideration of hundreds of military promotions stalled by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) as a group. Republicans have been wary of the approach, but pressure has been building to resolve the impasse before the end of the year.

Surveillance authority: There’s an end-of-year deadline looming to reauthorize Section 702, a controversial surveillance program. Huddle had a good look at the competing proposals on the House side alone, as Congress seeks consensus on the future of the program.

Schumer summed up the overall state of play in his letter: “Senators should be prepared to stay in Washington until we finish our work.”
Over on the House side, all eyes will be on the looming expulsion vote for Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) after an Ethics Committee report found “substantial evidence” of criminal wrongdoing by the embattled freshman. Expelling him, a step only done a handful times in history, would further trim the House Republican razor-thin majority, so doing so would also be a major deal practically.

Santos said during an X space hosted by journalist Monica Matthews on Friday night he would not resign, teeing up a near-certain floor showdown in the days ahead. (Playbook had a Saturday look at some of the other colorful things Santos said in the X space.)