How to watch the US Senate in the winter: A guide

What to watch for in the US Capitol: the Senate’s Winter Session, from Wednesday, January 2 through Friday, January 5. 

The Senate is expected to pass and send to the president a tax reform package on Tuesday, a week before Christmas. 

There are two weeks for each chamber to take up its own legislation, but the Senate is set to work on both in the same session. 

On Wednesday, the Senate will vote on a measure to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which helps low-income children get health insurance, and on Friday, the House of Representatives will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

But in both cases, the votes will likely be a wash, because the House passed a bill to defund the law, and the Senate voted to keep it in place. 

Here are 10 things you need to know to watch in the first weeks of January: 1.

The House passed its repeal bill on Wednesday, and by Friday, a Senate version of it had been passed by both chambers. 

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the bill would move to the Senate floor and could be voted on as soon as next week. 

However, there was little indication that the House would take the measure up, given its fractious relationship with the White House. 

The White House issued a statement that said the House bill was “not good for America,” and that the Senate bill was a “stupid plan.” 


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has taken a hard line on the Republican tax bill, calling it “a huge step backwards” and accusing the White Hill of trying to “keep the lights on and the noise down” during the debate. 

“Republicans are attempting to get something done and not even pretending to work with us,” Schumer told reporters Thursday.

“They are trying to keep the lights off, they are trying not to hear the voices in the crowd, they’re trying to avoid talking about what we’ve done and what we’re trying not do.” 

“We know that the president is not going to do a thing,” Schumer added.

“And they are going to continue to try to keep everybody in their own little echo chamber.” 


President Donald Trump is expected at least twice a week during the first half of January, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat, has been tweeting about it. 

Durbin said on Wednesday that the Trump administration was “willing to work” with Democrats on the bill, which he called a “very important piece” in their tax overhaul package. 


During the debate over the repeal of the Affordable Act, Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, was seen talking to a man wearing a “Naked Trump” T-shirt and holding a sign that said “Nuclear Weapons Don’t Work.” 

He said he did not have an opinion on the GOP tax plan, but that it was important for Democrats to take a position. 


There are a few Republicans who have expressed opposition to the bill. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a prominent Trump critic, said in a tweet on Wednesday: “The House tax bill is just another bad giveaway to the Koch Brothers and the rich.

I oppose it.” 

Graham has also called on the Senate to vote against the bill because it would add $3.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, according to his website. 


House Speaker Paul Ryan, R of Wisconsin, has said he will not vote for the bill unless it includes a plan to repeal Obamacare. 

Ryan also told reporters that the bill “is a bad deal for working Americans and middle-class families,” adding that it “would leave Americans with no choice but to buy insurance.” 

Ryan told reporters in Washington on Thursday that the GOP would “continue to fight for Americans’ ability to have a good health care system.” 


Senator John McCain, R -Ariz., said on Thursday he has not yet voted on the tax bill.

He also said that he has “great confidence in our Senate leadership.”


After a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday evening, Senate Minority Whip DickDurbine, D -Ill., called for the Senate Democrats to be given a chance to vote on the repeal and replacement plan, in a letter to the speaker. 

“[I]t is the Senate majority leader’s responsibility to ensure that this package is voted on, and that we get it done,” Durbine wrote in the letter. 


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has criticized Senate Republicans for refusing to hold hearings on the House’s tax bill and called on them to “show some backbone.” 

“[The] House Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing on the Tax Cuts and