Speed Reads

looking ahead

Congress returns to work with crammed legislative calendar

Just 12 scheduled legislative days remain before the end of the year, and Republican lawmakers are sweating over their substantial remaining to-do list. "To every Republican senator: The fate of the party is in our hands, as well as that of the economy," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.

Congress must reach a budget deal by Dec. 8 to avoid a government shutdown; negotiations involve thorny issues like military spending caps, the flood insurance program, and protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans are also seeking a win on their tax reform plan, with leadership warning that lawmakers may be kept "until close to Christmas" to get it all done, The Wall Street Journal reports.