The Senate took care of the most pressing matter before the lame-duck Congress by approving late Saturday a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the government through September 2015.
Among the big items left:
—Dozens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses expired in January. The House has passed legislation extending them through the end of the year, so taxpayers can claim them on their 2014 returns. Senate action awaits.
—Tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities. The House has approved a bill to allow people with disabilities to open tax-free bank accounts to pay for expenses from education to housing and health care. The measure was added to the tax extenders bill.
—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. The House has acted on a renewal, but not the Senate yet.