Besides multiple votes planned on the payroll tax, Reid said the Senate must clear a number of legislative items from its agenda before adjourning for the holidays. They include a vote on two balanced budget amendments, one a Republican proposal and one offered by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). Reid added that several nominations would receive votes, as would a measure to extend the rates paid to Medicare providers, commonly referred to as the “doc fix.”
Reid added that a package of tax extenders and the unemployment extension require consideration.
Congress also must act to keep the government funded through next year. The current stopgap spending bill expires in three weeks.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.