Reid looks to close out transportation bill Wednesday, then move to judicial nominations

A list of remaining amendments appears at the bottom of this story.

By 2:30 p.m., Reid said the Senate would start work on as many as 17 cloture votes on stalled judicial nominations. Republicans on Tuesday rejected Reid's strategy of calling for votes to end debate on these nominations, and said the plan appeared to be an attempt to make it look like Republicans were needlessly stalling these nominations.

Rep. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell: Cures bill a 'top priority' in lame-duck Lawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck Overnight Regulation: Lawsuits pile up against Obama overtime rule MORE (R-Tenn.) did acknowledge a delay, but said this was due to the Obama administration's decision to recess-appoint several people while the Senate was not in recess. Alexander said this controversial move made it much more difficult to approve a wave of non-controversial judges at the end of last year, as the Senate would normally do.

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Alexander called on Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnell9/11 bill is a global blunder that will weaken US efforts abroad States urged to bolster election security How the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill MORE (R-Ky.) to reach an agreement that would let the Senate avoid taking up 17 consecutive cloture votes on non-controversial nominees. And shortly before 7 p.m., Reid said there were discussions on exactly that topic.

"We're working with various parties to see if we can work something out on those nominations," Reid said. "We hope we can. If not, we'll have those votes."

Earlier in the day, McConnell argued that Reid was setting up the votes to provoke a conflict where there was none, and suggested the Senate should move immediately to a House-passed bill removing capital formation obstacles to small companies.

The Senate adjourned immediately after Reid spoke, leaving the following amendments to the transportation bill for Wednesday:

• Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerOvernight Defense: GOP leaders express concerns after 9/11 veto override | Lawmakers press for Syria 'plan B' | US touts anti-ISIS airstrikes Dem leaders defend overriding 9/11 bill veto GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override MORE's (R-Tenn.) amendment to ensure that the aggregate amount made available for transportation projects for a fiscal year does not exceed the estimated amount available for those projects in the Highway Trust Fund for the fiscal year (#1810).

• Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE's (D-Del.) amendment to provide states with additional flexibility (#1670).

• Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) amendment to prohibit the imposition of new tolls on the federal-aid system, and for other purposes (#1568).

• Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGOP lawmakers slam secret agreement to help lift Iran bank sanctions Kerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner MORE's (R-Ariz.) amendment to enhance the natural quiet and safety of airspace of Grand Canyon National Park and for other purposes (#1669, as modified).

• Se. Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) amendment to make technical corrections to certain provisions relating to overflights of national parks (#1779).

• Se. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE's (D-Calif.) amendment to express the sense of the Senate that federal agencies should ensure that all applicable environmental reviews, approvals, licensing and permit requirements under federal law are completed on an expeditious basis after a disaster or emergency (#1816).

• Se. Rand PaulRand PaulHow low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? Lawmaker seeks to investigate Obama's foreign tax compliance law Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE's (R-Ky.) amendment to permit emergency exemptions from compliance with certain laws for highway construction projects (#1556).