Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Featured eBooks
Best Dates to Retire 2020
What’s Next for Federal Customer Experience
 The Future of the Air Force
Congress Returns Amid Intensified Focus on Terror Threats After Paris Attacks

As lawmakers mull the aftermath of the Paris attacks, they’ll keep working on a highway bill and a handful of other measures.

Fri­day’s ter­ror at­tacks in Par­is will weigh heav­ily on the minds of law­makers as Con­gress re­turns to Wash­ing­ton to hold a quick one-week ses­sion be­fore an­oth­er break for Thanks­giv­ing.

On Wed­nes­day, the House com­mit­tees on Home­land Se­cur­ity and For­eign Af­fairs will hold a joint hear­ing on “The Rise of Rad­ic­al­ism: Grow­ing Ter­ror­ist Sanc­tu­ar­ies and the Threat to the U.S. Home­land”—a sub­ject of even great­er im­port­ance in the wake of Par­is. Bey­ond that, it’s un­clear what, if any­thing, Con­gress may do to dir­ectly ad­dress the at­tacks and their af­ter­math. On Thursday, a House Ju­di­ciary sub­com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing on the Syr­i­an refugee crisis and its im­plic­a­tions for U.S. se­cur­ity.

On the floor, mean­while, the House is ex­pec­ted to take up a hand­ful of fin­an­cial ser­vices bills. And both cham­bers may have to pass an­oth­er short-term high­way bill if they are un­able to quickly agree on a six-year bill to fund the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.

Here’s what else is on tap:


Re­pub­lic­ans on Cap­it­ol Hill are tak­ing aim at White House ef­forts to help craft an in­ter­na­tion­al ac­cord on glob­al warm­ing, at­tacks that come ahead of high-stakes United Na­tions cli­mate change talks in Par­is that—des­pite heightened se­cur­ity con­cerns after Fri­day’s ter­ror at­tacks— are still sched­uled to be­gin in two weeks.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing the Sen­ate En­vir­on­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee—which is led by James In­hofe, who calls glob­al warm­ing a “hoax”—will hold a hear­ing on the up­com­ing U.N. sum­mit. The House Sci­ence Com­mit­tee will hold its own hear­ing that af­ter­noon titled “The Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Empty Prom­ises for the In­ter­na­tion­al Cli­mate Treaty.”

The hear­ings are part of a wider GOP as­sault on Pres­id­ent Obama’s second-term cli­mate-change agenda. A spokes­man for Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell said the Sen­ate will vote “soon” on res­ol­u­tions to over­turn EPA’s car­bon emis­sions rules for power plants, but he did not of­fer a spe­cif­ic timeline.


The House Fin­an­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing, ex­amin­ing the agenda of the Se­cur­it­ies and Ex­change Com­mis­sion. Chair­wo­man Mary Jo White will testi­fy. On Tues­day, the Ways and Means Hu­man Re­sources Sub­com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing on les­sons from oth­er coun­tries’ wel­fare re­form ex­per­i­ences.


Re­con­cili­ation is sure to be a buzzword around Cap­it­ol Hill this week, after, ac­cord­ing to the New York Times, the Sen­ate par­lia­ment­ari­an ruled that some ele­ments of the House-passed bill can’t be ex­ped­ited, and Demo­crats say that the up­per cham­ber would need 60 votes to re­peal both the in­di­vidu­al and em­ploy­er man­dates. But Re­pub­lic­ans say that’s not ex­actly the case.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the nom­in­a­tion of Dr. Robert Cal­iff to serve as the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s com­mis­sion­er is un­der­way with a Sen­ate Health, Edu­ca­tion, Labor, and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee hear­ing Tues­day. Later that day, the Sen­ate Fin­ance Com­mit­tee will have a hear­ing titled “Phys­i­cian Owned Dis­trib­ut­ors: Are They Harm­ful to Pa­tients and Pay­ers?”

Also on Tues­day, the House En­ergy and Com­merce Health Sub­com­mit­tee will hear from FDA and Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices about their roles in the reg­u­la­tion of dia­gnost­ic tests. And as the weath­er chills—and flu sea­son be­gins—the En­ergy and Com­merce Over­sight and In­vest­ig­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee will ex­am­ine on Thursday how agen­cies have pre­pared for the in­flu­enza after last year’s vac­cine wasn’t an ex­act match for a com­mon flu strain, caus­ing many to fall ill.


All five mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion will ap­pear be­fore the House Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Tech­no­logy Sub­com­mit­tee on Tues­day morn­ing for an over­sight hear­ing. Re­pub­lic­ans have been furi­ous with the FCC since it en­acted ex­pans­ive net neut­ral­ity reg­u­la­tions earli­er this year that they claim will stifle in­vest­ment in the broad­band in­dustry. The agency is also pre­par­ing for a com­plex auc­tion of TV air­waves to cel­lu­lar car­ri­ers next year and is ex­amin­ing its reg­u­la­tions of the TV in­dustry. 

The Sen­ate Com­merce, Sci­ence, and Trans­port­a­tion Com­mit­tee will hold a mark-up of nine bills on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, in­clud­ing one that would en­cour­age fed­er­al agen­cies to sell their air­waves to the private sec­tor, and an­oth­er that would bar com­pan­ies from us­ing con­tracts to pre­vent their cus­tom­ers from cri­ti­ciz­ing them. 

The House Com­merce, Man­u­fac­tur­ing, and Trade Sub­com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing on Thursday morn­ing on the po­ten­tial eco­nom­ic im­pact of com­mer­cial drones. Al­though oth­er con­gres­sion­al pan­els have ex­amined the Fed­er­al Avi­ation Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to au­thor­ize and reg­u­late com­mer­cial drones, the trade sub­com­mit­tee has jur­is­dic­tion over pri­vacy and con­sumer safety is­sues. 


With the Par­is at­tacks oc­cupy­ing the at­ten­tion of lead­ers around the world, Pres­id­ent Obama is hop­ping from sum­mit to sum­mit this week as he spends the week over­seas. On Monday, he starts the day in An­t­a­lya, Tur­key, wrap­ping up the G-20 sum­mit he began on Sunday. Then it’s off to Ma­nila in the Phil­ip­pines, where he will at­tend the Asia Pa­cific Eco­nom­ic Co­oper­a­tion for­um on Wed­nes­day and Thursday. On Fri­day, he goes to Ku­ala Lum­pur, Malay­sia, for two sum­mits – the As­so­ci­ation of South­east Asi­an Na­tions and then the East Asia Sum­mit, two or­gan­iz­a­tions that in­clude 17 coun­tries im­port­ant to Obama’s vaunted “pivot to Asia.”

Caitlin OwensGeorge E. Condon Jr.Eric GarciaBrendan Sasso and Ben Geman contributed to this article.