Obama’s recent controversial executive order that protected 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation may factor into these plans, as some Republicans want to punish the president for what they regard as government overreach. Retaliation may come in the form of separate spending bills to keep the government open past Dec. 11, when the current funding bill expires. Republicans may draft one bill that keeps a majority of the government funded through September 2015, while another bill would keep only agencies that enforce immigration laws funded for the first few months of 2015, Politico reported.
The appropriations committees in the House and Senate, which allocate the funding, said they would have a $1 trillion spending bill ready by next week, the Associated Press reported. Congress leaves Washington after Dec. 12 for the holidays, according to the congressional calendar.
Also on the agenda is extending tax breaks. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, agreed on a $450 million deal, but Obama is threatening to veto the measure because the child tax credit and earned income tax credit are not part of the package, Politico reported. The child tax credit, used to ease the tax burden on parents raising children, can reduce their federal income tax liability by up to $1,000 per child, according to the IRS. The earned income tax credit is a break for those making under $51,567.
Less controversial is the reauthorization to fund and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting the so-called Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS. Congress is expected to renew the president’s authority on ISIS before the authorization expires Dec. 11, a day before Congress adjourns, the AP reported.