With the next vacation break just three weeks away for Memorial Day, the Congress returns to work this week with a series of issues on the agenda that could certainly spur some animated partisan battles up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The first order of business in the Senate on Monday is final action on a bill that would force internet retailers to collect sales taxes for online purchases - while it is controversial, it is likely to get a large bipartisan majority.
The real "headliner" issue in the Senate this month is likely to be an issue that isn't even on the Senate floor - immigration reform.
Work begins in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, as that panel will "markup" the bill this month; Democrats would like to get the immigration reform plan to the Senate floor by June.
Using my email inbox as a rudimentary poll on what is generating the most legislative interest on Capitol Hill right now, that is clearly "the" issue for both parties at this point.
As for the House, Republicans are ready to push ahead on a number of fronts this month, as the House Oversight Committee plans more hearings this week on the Benghazi attacks.
Republicans say they will present more evidence that the Obama Administration actively shied away from blaming the attacks on terrorism; Democrats say it's nothing more than a classic political witch hunt.
In terms of legislation, the House will vote this week on two bills that will certainly generate a lot of opposition from Democrats:
+ The "Full Faith and Credit Act" is a GOP plan that would basically force the feds to prioritize how money is spent, so that if the US did not raise the debt limit, only the most important items in the budget would be funded;
+ The "Working Families Flexibility Act" is another Republican plan that would let businesses either pay workers overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week, or give them compensatory time off (comp time.)
Expect both bills to pass and then never be taken up by the U.S. Senate.
The House will also vote this month on a bill dealing with interest rates for student loans and the Keystone XL oil pipeline; GOP leaders say they will also force another vote this month on a bill that repeals the Obama health reform law.
As for the budget, it's not clear whether lawmakers will consider other "fixes" for the sequester like the one made for FAA air traffic controllers; we'll see if there's any push for more budget flexibility overall or specific funding issues in coming weeks from either party.
Also in coming weeks, the House Appropriations Committee will start its work on the actual budget bills for the 2014 budget.
Meanwhile, one area that remains in limbo is the "budget resolution," the framework for that budget.
You may remember that Republicans complained for several years that Democrats had failed to pass a budget resolution in the Senate; well, the Senate did approve one before the Easter break.
The House also approved a Republican budget resolution about the same time. Usually what happens next is some kind of House-Senate negotiation to work out a final plan.
But at this point, Republicans in the House have refused to appoint negotiators to work out a compromise plan on the budget with the Senate.
Look for Democrats to repeatedly make that point in coming days, arguing that all the GOP talk about actually doing the budget - that it was all just talk.
The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has served notice to Gov. Nathan Deal that it wants input into any monument to the slain civil rights leader erected on state Capitol grounds – if the state expects free use of King’s copyrighted likeness.