House readies for late-night votes

Consideration of the 2015 appropriations bill to fund the Commerce Department, Justice Department and science programs is expected to last late into Thursday night.

The $52 billion legislation is being considered under an open rule, which allows members to offer an unlimited number of amendments. Members currently estimate the last votes on amendments and final passage of the bill to be close to midnight, or possibly later. 

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The House debated the measure for nearly five hours Wednesday night, adjourning at 12:11 a.m. 

A vote series is expected at 6 p.m. on multiple postponed amendment votes, including a proposal from Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) to boost funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for gun sales. As of early Thursday evening, the House had considered close to 50 amendments.

Votes on annual appropriations bills typically last late into the night due to the bulk of amendments. 

The House is scheduled to debate the intelligence authorization on Friday; members want to wrap up work on the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill by then.