The lame duck Congress reconvened Monday with a stacked agenda and little time to accomplish it. Top items include:
—Preventing a government shutdown. Temporary funding expires Dec. 11, and Capitol Hill leaders would like to pass an "omnibus" bill funding Cabinet agency operations through the Sept. 30 end of the 2015 budget year. But President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration have roiled Republicans, many of whom want to use the funding bill to take a stand against them. Also pending are Obama's requests for emergency funding to battle Ebola and Islamic State militants.
—Tax 'extenders.' Dozens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses have expired. An attempt to strike a deal between Senate Democrats and House Republicans on permanently renewing some of these so-called extenders foundered last week. Now, a one-year renewal seems most likely.
—Terrorism risk insurance. The federal government's terrorism risk insurance program expires at the end of the year and its renewal is important to economic sectors such as construction and hospitality. Chances are iffy at best for a long-term renewal.
—Defense policy. The annual defense policy measure has passed for more than 50 years in a row. This year's measure is threatened by an impasse over trimming military benefits.