Crikey is bracing for one of the biggest weeks in federal politics in years as the government faces crucial votes on the offshore processing of asylum seekers and the carbon tax.

Pollies, presumably refreshed after today's ACT "family and community day" sojourn, will be keen to pick up the cudgels in the third-last official sitting week before the end of the year. Kicking off tomorrow afternoon's government business in the Senate is the Student Services and Amenities Bill, a talismanic issue among Coalition MPs who remain keen to starve student unions of funding to exact revenge for 25-year-old disputes with campus socialists.