Politics

Congressional Calendar December 15, 2010

Congress stayed in session until the last minute to pass outstanding legislation before Democrats lose seats this January.

Congress stayed in session until the last minute to pass outstanding legislation before Democrats lose seats this January.

The Senate plans to hold an afternoon vote on the tax break extensions bill negotiated between the White House and Congressional Republicans. Before the final vote, the Senate will consider three motions to alter the bill. All of the motions, one by an independent who sides with the Democrats and two offered by Republicans, are expected to fail.

A procedural vote on the tax measure passed by an overwhelming majority earlier in the week, and final passage of the legislation is not in doubt. The plan will then head to the House of Representatives for consideration there.

House Democrats have grave concerns with the bill, and would like to make changes to a provision dealing with the estate tax. Many Democrats feel that the current framework, which allows the first $5 million of an estate to pass to heirs and an additional $5 million to a spouse without taxation with the balance taxed at 35 percent, is too generous to wealthy individuals. The Chairman of the House Rules Committee Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., told reporters Tuesday night that there would be a chance to vote on an altered estate tax provision during the rulemaking process for the bill.

Senate Republicans say that the compromise they worked out with the White House is non-negotiable.

After finishing up work on the tax bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to proceed to the new START nuclear weapons reduction treaty. The pact with Russia requires 67 votes for approval. Reid has not yet scheduled a final vote on the agreement.

One thing that is not scheduled to be on the floor of the Senate tomorrow is a bill to fund the government. They'll have to figure out something soon though; the current funding law expires at midnight on Saturday.

The House will vote on a bill to overturn the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay service members. Many observers view this as the final opportunity for Democrats to overturn the rule before Republicans take control of the House in January.

We'll be covering all these stories and more, so stay with Fox News for all the latest.