The Senate could vote Tuesday on a bill to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30 and avoid a government shutdown at the end of this month. Senators voted 63-35 Monday to limit debate on the legislation and move to a final vote.
Congress faces a March 27 deadline when current government funding runs out; however, with the Senate and House scheduled to begin a two-week spring break on Friday, the deadline effectively moves up to the end of this week.
The bill retains $85 billion in sequestration spending cuts that began March 1. As originally passed by the House, this short-term spending bill would give the Pentagon flexibility in how it carries out its half of the March 1 cuts. Senate Democrats are trying to expand that flexibility to some non-defense agencies.
President Barack Obama departs late Tuesday evening for his first trip to Israel as president.
U.S. officials have set expectations low for the trip, the Associated Press notes. The mission includes reassuring the Israelis that the United States has their back in the face of any threats, telling the Palestinians that their aspirations for statehood are in America's national security interests and showing support for a Jordanian monarchy.
Earlier in the day, Obama will welcome Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House for traditional St Patrick's Day talk--two days after St Patrick's Day, due to March 17 falling on a weekend this year. They also will attend the traditional St. Patrick's Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol, and Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host an evening reception to celebrate their fifth St. Patrick's Day at the White House.
Also worth noting on Tuesday: Former Gov. Mark Sanford and Teddy Turner, son of media magnate Ted Turner, are among 16 Republican candidates in a primary election in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District to choose candidates for the May 7 special election to fill the vacancy created after Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate, and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew begins a two-day visit to Beijing to meet with China's new leadership.
And then there is this: It’s the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War starting with a U.S.-led coalition launching Operation Iraqi Freedom at 9:30 p.m. ET.