Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had agreed to testify before a Republican-lead panel this week on the deadly attack at the Benghazi consulate. But, the hearing, which was scheduled for Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and was slated to be a tough audience for madam secretary, will go on without her contribution after Clinton suffered a concussion after fainting last Thursday. Her doctors have advised she remain at home and refrain from strenuous activity for at least a week, stated a report from the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, lawmakers, originally scheduled to leave Dec. 14, are still hanging around town waiting on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to strike a deal with President Barack Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff???automatic, across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts set for Jan. 1.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has warned Republican lawmakers to be prepared to forego the holiday with family to stay in D.C. until a deal is struck, while his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters late last week he doubts a deal will be reached by Christmas.
However, President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are still planning to spend Christmas with their respective families in Hawaii.
Other committee hearings to keep members busy while waiting on a deal between the Republican and Democratic leaders include a closed House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss ongoing intelligence activities.
In the Senate, the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine computerized trading venues.
On Wednesday, the Democrat-lead Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the state of voting rights during the 2012 campaign, and another banking panel will discuss consumer credit reports.