Averting a government shutdown last week with a new budget extension took one big item off Congress’ year-end to-do list. But several more still remain in the final weeks of December for lawmakers before breaking for the holidays.

The annual defense authorization bill remains stalled in the Senate, held up by a lack of an agreement over votes on possible amendments.

If the impasse continues into this week, chamber leaders could simply punt all future work on the measure into January, making it the latest the measure has gone unfinished in Congress in decades.

Lawmakers will likely have to approve a debt limit increase before leaving for Christmas break, of risk having the country default on its loans over the holiday.

And Democratic leaders are still hopeful they can push through the president’s Build Better Better proposal and a host of year-end wrap-up packages in the final days of the 2021 session.

Tuesday, Dec. 7

House Oversight — 9:30 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
Foreign terrorist groups
State and Defense Department officials will testify on the continued threat posed by overseas terrorist organizations.

Senate Judiciary — 10 a.m. — 226 Dirksen
Outside experts will testify on the potential impact of closing the detention facilities at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen
State Department officials will testify on U.S-Russia tensions and the administration’s strategy for Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, Dec. 8

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Outside experts will testify on biosecurity threats facing the nation.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Veteran home ownership
VA officials will testify on resources for veterans looking to buy a home.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Bolstering democracy
Outside experts will testify on worldwide threats to democratic governments.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen
State Department officials will testify on tensions in the Pacific and U.S. policy towards Taiwan.

Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell
The committee will consider the nomination of Kurt DelBene to be assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for information and technology.

Thursday, Dec. 9

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
State Department officials will testify on the security situation in Libya and U.S. strategic plans in the region.

Senate Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen
Toxic exposures
Outside experts will testify on PFAS groundwater contamination at various sites across the country.

House Foreign Affairs — 1 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Pending legislation
The committee will mark up several pending bills, including the Combating International Islamophobia Act.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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