Washington (CNN) - While you might have been finishing up your holiday shopping over the weekend, the Senate was hard at work. Here's what you missed - and what still remains to be done as the lame-duck Congress comes to a close.
Don't ask, don't tell
History was made on Saturday when the Senate reversed the military's long-standing "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bans openly gay servicemembers from serving.
Eight Republicans and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, joined Democrats to back the bill, which passed by a 65-31 margin. The bill needed a simple majority - meaning support from 51 of the Senate's 100 members - to pass.
The House passed the bill by a 250 to 175 margin on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will sign the bill into law this week.
Senate Republicans mounted a counterattack Sunday against ratifying a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year, trying to put off a vote that Democrats say they would win.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN's "State of the Union" that Republicans need more time to consider the START accord.
The treaty would resume mutual inspections of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, while limiting each nation to 1,550 warheads and 700 launchers.
Democrats, meanwhile, rejected a Republican amendment to the treaty's preamble that would have added a reference to tactical nuclear weapons, which are not covered by the pact.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with