With a government shutdown averted until Dec. 22, lawmakers will shift their attention this week to a host of other business they hope to complete before the end of the year.

At the top of that list will be reconciling the House and Senate tax reform plans, work that is expected to include tense negotiations between the separate chambers’ Republican leaders.

Meanwhile, congressional committees awaiting word on a defense spending budget deal will take up a host of lingering health and safety issues this week. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hear from outside experts on the latest research on traumatic brain injuries, while the House Armed Services Committee will look into continued reports of health problems facing active duty pilots.

The Senate committee will also invite back Ryan Crocker, who previously served as both U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, to talk about current U.S. policies in the Middle East.

Tuesday, Dec. 12

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Cannon 334
GI Bill implementation
VA officials and outside experts will testify before the committee on implementation of the new Forever GI Bill.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2200
North Korea
The subcommittee on global human rights will hear from outside experts on way to assist and protect North Korean refugees.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2255
Cambodia
The subcommittee on Asia will hear from outside experts on issues with democracy in Cambodia.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2200
NAFTA
The subcommittee on trade will hear from outside experts on issues surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — Dirksen 419
Zimbabwe
The subcommittee on Africa will hear from outside experts on instability and upheaval in Zimbabwe.

Wednesday, Dec. 13

Senate Foreign Relations — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen 419
Use of military force
Stephen Hadley, former assistant national security advisor, and Christine Wormuth, former undersecretary of defense for policy, will testify before the committee on political and strategic considerations for the use of military force.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
Pre-discharge claims
The subcommittee on disability assistance will hear from VA officials on the department’s pre-discharge claims programs.

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Russell 222
Brain injuries
The committee will hear from outside medical efforts on the latest research and treatments for traumatic brain injury and concussions in servicemembers.

House Science and Technology — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2318
Brain injuries
The committee will hear from outside medical efforts on the latest research and treatments related to head trauma in sport and in the military services.

House Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2118
Aircraft problems
Air Force and Navy aviation officials will testify before the tactical air and land subcommittee on recent problems with physiological episodes in military aircraft.

Thursday, Dec. 14

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Dirksen G50
Middle East
Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, and other outside experts will testify before the committee on current American policy and strategy in the Middle East.