Defense spending key to agenda for lame duck Congress

As lawmakers hurry to finalize spending legislation before funding expires on Thursday, several key items sit on the agenda.  Of greatest consideration for S&K is in regards to a defense policy bill, which in this article is phrased:

—Defense policy. Last week, the Republican-controlled House approved a $585 billion defense policy bill that grants President Barack Obama the authority to expand the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. The Senate is expected to take up the bill this week.

Taxes, preventing shutdown top items on the agenda of the lame-duck Congress

By The Associated Press

The lame-duck Congress has a stacked agenda and little time to accomplish it. Top items include:

—Preventing a government shutdown. Temporary funding expires Thursday, and Capitol Hill leaders are finalizing a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the government through September 2015.

—Tax “extenders.” Dozens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses expired in January. The House passed a bill last week extending them through the end of the year, so taxpayers can claim them on their 2014 returns. The Senate is expected to act this week.

Read the full article.