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Big week ahead as lawmakers work to tie up loose ends

(NewsNation) — Lawmakers are working to tie up loose ends in the final weeks of the year before a new Congress begins, and a couple of really big things are happening this week.

Let’s start with the fact that the government is going to run out of money in five days unless Congress can come to some deal to craft a big budget bill together. Either they work out a deal or pass what’s known as a continuing resolution, which is a temporary deal that locks in government spending at its current levels.

Often lawmakers will pass a temporary continuing resolution to buy themselves more time to negotiate a larger deal that fully funds the government.

The clock is ticking.

Also, a high-profile hearing is coming up on Tuesday. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to testify before a House committee.

Bankman-Fried, the now notorious CEO of the crypto giant FTX, will have to answer questions from the House Financial Services Committee about how his firm went belly up.

A string of questionable decisions in investing his customers’ cash cost his investors billions of dollars collectively. Many investors and regulators say Bankman-Fried should face prosecution and potentially jail time.

Finally, the Jan. 6 Committee is preparing to wrap up its work soon. Chairman Benny Thompson says their final report will be finished on Dec. 21.

The committee met on Sunday behind closed doors to discuss whether they’ll make criminal referrals. This means whether they will suggest to the Department of Justice to file criminal charges against anyone based on the evidence the committee discovered.

Top of mind for many is whether they’ll recommend charges for former President Donald Trump.

Making criminal referrals would be a symbolic move, signaling Congress believes a crime was committed, committee member Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said on Sunday

On top of all that, the Senate will soon have to take up the NDAA, that’s the nearly $860 billion defense bill that authorizes spending for all branches of the military and will provide new funding to Ukraine and Taiwan as well.