(Reuters) - The U.S. Congress is careening toward major deadlines on a Republican tax bill, the budget and other policies. Here is the outlook for what promises to be a sprint to the end of 2017.
TUESDAY, NOV 28: The Senate Budget Committee voted on Tuesday to send Republican tax-cut legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, possibly as soon as Thursday, with 51 votes needed for passage.
THURSDAY, NOV. 30, or FRIDAY, DEC. 1: Possible final Senate vote on tax bill, although delay was possible. Ahead of a floor vote, several Republican senators were making demands for possible changes to the legislation.
If the Senate approves the bill, a conference would begin to reconcile differences between the Senate and House of Representatives tax measures. A compromise bill would need to be approved before going to President Donald Trump for enactment.
FRIDAY, DEC. 8: Expiration date for funding needed to keep the U.S. government open. Congress has three choices: approve a massive bill for more than $1 trillion to keep the government operating through Sept. 30, 2018; pass a shorter extension of current funding to buy more time; or fail to pass anything and risk a partial government shutdown, stalling the tax effort.
U.S. Treasury hits its limit on borrowing, but takes steps to postpone any need for action by Congress, eliminating any need for a debt limit increase in an end-of-year catch-all bill.
TUESDAY, DEC. 12: Special U.S. Senate election in Alabama pits Republican Roy Moore, a conservative firebrand accused of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls, against Democrat Doug Jones. The election could mean trouble for the tax overhaul effort. Moore, a critic of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, could cause turmoil if elected. A win by Jones would shrink even more Republicans’ narrow margin of Senate control.
THURSDAY, DEC. 14: House’s last scheduled session of 2017.
FRIDAY, DEC. 15: Senate’s last scheduled session of 2017.
FRIDAY, DEC. 22: The last weekday before Christmas and a potential deadline for sending tax legislation to Trump.
DISASTER AID: On Nov. 17, the White House asked Congress to approve $44 billion in more aid for disaster-hit Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and other states. If approved, as expected, aid would total nearly $96 billion. Additional requests are expected.
DREAMERS: Trump has threatened to end an Obama-era program that helped “Dreamers,” people brought illegally into the United States when they were children. Trump gave Congress until early March to come up with a replacement program, but Democrats and some Republicans want to do this in December.
CHIP: The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps millions of lower-income pregnant women and children, is running out of money. Congress has struggled to approve a five-year renewal for the program that normally enjoys bipartisan support.
Reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Lisa Shumaker
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