American soldier in AfghanistanThe Obama administration plans to release a review of U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 16. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that “the report will not contain any surprises,” according to Voice of America — which is to say that it will simply rehash the administration’s public position that Obama’s strategies are succeeding. “Gibbs,” added VOA, “says the administration is pleased with progress in several areas,” and “he has no doubt that the war effort is going better than it was a year ago.”

soldiersThe House of Representatives voted 250 to 175 today to repeal the 17-year-old military policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The legislation once again moves back to the Senate, where a vote is expected to take place sometime next week, at the very earliest if at all, report Senate aides.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who died this morning after a late-night shootout close to the Mexican border, officials said. At least one other suspect was still on the loose.

CapitolThe United States Senate voted today to approve the legislation that will temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans. The 81-19 vote took place two days after Monday’s Senate cloture vote of 83-15, which ultimately ended the Republican filibuster and moved the bill to a final vote. The cloture vote allowed for an additional 30 hours of debate on the legislation, ultimately delaying the final vote on the legislation until today at approximately 1 p.m.

According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Senate vote on the tax deal legislation may come “sometime before midnight” tonight if he reaches an agreement with Senate Republicans to act before the 30 hours of debate time runs out at 12:30 a.m. If passed, the legislation moves to the House of Representatives, on whose floor it could be voted as early as Wednesday.