Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday laid out a jam-packed schedule for the final week of Senate business before the Christmas holiday.
And as usual, Reid also issued a threat that a failure to deal with the issues promptly would risk keeping the Senate in session longer than expected and potentially through Christmas Eve.
Here's how the Senate will proceed, according to Reid:
On Monday night, it will vote on Anne Patterson’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of State, and proceed to a vote on the nomination of Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. If a procedural hurdle clears, the Senate will vote on Johnson's confirmation immediately.
On Tuesday, it will consider the bipartisan budget that passed easily in the House last week. The bill is expected to pass, but the margin isn't expected to be as wide, with significantly more Republican opposition.
On Wednesday, it will vote on the defense authorization bill, which also passed easily in the House last week. Some Senate Republicans have balked at not being able to offer amendments.
In addition, the Senate is scheduled to vote at some point on the following nominations: Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve, Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of DHS, John Koskinen to head the IRS, Robert Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit Court and seven other nominations.
Republicans have balked at swift confirmation of some nominees, citing the Democrats' recent decision to lower the threshold for non-Supreme Court nominations from 60 to 50 votes -- a.k.a. the "nuclear option." While Republicans can't block these nominations on their own, they can refuse to yield their allotted debate time as a protest.
Reid suggested that, if these items aren't dealt with in swift fashion, the Senate could be in session as late as Tuesday, which is Christmas Eve. Such threats have become commonplace in the Senate.
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