Thanksgiving is over, the Senate gets back to work on Monday, the House on Tuesday and everybody seems to agree that it's time to talk turkey about the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts scheduled to automatically go into effect on the first two days of January.
President Barack Obama held an initial meeting with congressional leaders on Nov. 16 that was described by all in attendance as a "constructive" start toward a deal to stop short of the cliff, and he is expected to hold another meeting with leadership this week.
There continues to be a post-election tone of compromise in Washington, with Democrats saying they are willing to put entitlements on the table and Republicans saying they are willing to talk about reducing tax deductions.
Economists have warned that failing to reach a deal could severely weaken the economy and possibly push it back into recession.
House Republicans are expected to vote this week on immigration legislation that would expand visas for foreign science and technology students and make it easier for those with green cards to bring their immediate families to the United States. Fixing the nation's immigration system is a priority for Hispanic communities, and Republicans did not fare well with Hispanic voters in the Nov. 6 election.
And then there is this: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrives Monday for the Dec. 4 lighting ceremony. This year's tree is from Colorado, which last supplied the tree in 2000. The theme of this year's decorations is "Celebrating our Great Outdoors."
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama