NBC's Ken Strickland notes that other high-profile items slated for action -- or inaction -- in the Senate this week include most of the appropriations bill that fund government operations and expanding the children's heath insurance program. Money expires for both on December 14th and veto threats loom.
Also ready for legislative action are the farm bill and an energy bill that boosts fuel efficiency standards. The foreign intelligence surveillance bill --or FISA-- faces a February deadline. There will also be a big push to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax dilemma before millions of middle-income families get caught in its unintended consequences. "In this final work period, our plate will be full," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will say, according to prepared remarks.