November 27, 2017 / 8:40 PM / 20 days ago

Factbox: From taxes to budget, what's on U.S. Congress to-do list

(Reuters) - The U.S. Congress is hurtling toward some major deadlines on tax legislation, the budget and other policies. Some of the deadlines are hard and some are soft as the end of 2017 approaches.

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol Building is seen shortly before sunset in Washington, U.S. May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Zach Gibson

Here is the Capitol Hill outlook for what promises to be a turbulent few weeks.

MONDAY, NOV. 27: President Donald Trump discusses a tax overhaul over lunch with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, the Republican-controlled chamber’s top tax writer, and four other Republican members of Hatch’s panel: John Cornyn, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey and Tim Scott.

Senate reconvenes after a week-long holiday break.

TUESDAY, NOV 28: Trump joins Senate Republicans at their weekly policy luncheon to urge quick passage of tax legislation. Trump also meets with Republican and Democratic leaders of both the Senate and House of Representatives to talk about funding legislation and other priorities.

The Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on whether Republican tax legislation meets Senate rules for fast-track reconciliation bills. If it does, the bill could be introduced on the Senate floor later on Tuesday, beginning debate.

THURSDAY, NOV. 30, or FRIDAY, DEC. 1: Possible, although far from certain, final Senate vote on tax bill.

FRIDAY, DEC. 8: Expiration date for funding needed to keep the U.S. government open. Congress has three choices: approve a massive bill for more than $1 trillion to keep the government operating through Sept. 30, 2018; pass a shorter extension of current funding to buy more time; or fail to pass anything and risk a partial government shutdown, stalling the tax effort.

U.S. Treasury hits its limit on borrowing, but takes steps to postpone any need for action by Congress, eliminating any need for a debt limit increase in an end-of-year catch-all bill.

TUESDAY, DEC. 12: Special U.S. Senate election in Alabama pits Republican Roy Moore, a conservative firebrand accused of sexual misconduct involving teen-age girls, against Democrat Doug Jones. The election could mean trouble for the tax overhaul effort. Moore, a critic of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, could cause turmoil if elected. A win by Jones would shrink even more Republicans’ narrow margin of Senate control, which now stands at 52-48.

THURSDAY, DEC. 14: House’s last scheduled session of 2017.

FRIDAY, DEC. 15: Senate’s last scheduled session of 2017.

FRIDAY, DEC. 22: The last weekday before Christmas, and a potential deadline for sending tax legislation to Trump.

DISASTER AID: On Nov. 17, the White House asked Congress to approve $45 billion in more aid for disaster-hit Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and other states. If approved, as expected, aid would total nearly $96 billion. Additional requests are expected.

DREAMERS: Trump has threatened to end an Obama-era program that helped “Dreamers,” people brought illegally into the United States when they were children. Trump gave Congress until early March to come up with a replacement program, but Democrats and some Republicans want to do this in December.

CHIP: The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps millions of lower-income pregnant women and children, is running out of money. Congress has struggled to approve a five-year renewal for the program that normally enjoys bipartisan support.

Reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by James Dalgleish and Andrew Hay

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