Friday: Final Senate vote on 2014 spending, and then what?

Cruz and Lee rejected that idea and said they want a Friday vote for all the world to see. As a result, the Senate will hold four votes Friday, the first being on a motion to end debate on the resolution.

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Next will be a vote on a motion to waive a budget point of order. After that, the Senate votes on a substitute amendment from Reid, which will remove the ObamaCare language. And finally, a vote on final passage of the resolution as amended.

The only remaining question is, will the vote matter? Senate passage will send it back to the House, which is already thinking about passing a week-long spending bill to give Congress more time to find a longer-term answer.

House GOP leaders have said they won't pass the Senate's clean spending bill, but that raises the question of what they will pass. Assuming the Senate can pass Reid's version, the pressure is clearly on the House, as there are just four days left before government funding runs out on Sept. 30.

To give the House some speed, the House Rules Committee approved a resolution allowing legislation to be considered on the House floor on the same day that it's considered in the Rules Committee. Normally floor consideration has to wait a day, but the House will have "same day" authority through Sept. 30 for any bill dealing with the spending resolution or the debt ceiling.

That resolution, H.Res. 361, also sets up a House-Senate conference on the farm bill. For the purposes of the conference, the resolution connects the two separate farm bills the House has passed — the one dealing with farm commodities and the one dealing just with nutrition, which cuts $40 billion from the food stamp program over 10 years.

The resolution must be passed on the House floor, and while it's not on the House GOP leaders' schedule for today, it could be quickly passed anyway.

As the House grapples with the spending bill, it has also set up votes on four suspension bills early Friday morning. Work will start at 9 a.m. for the House.

One of these suspension bills is H.R. 1412, as amended by the Senate, which is aimed at making it easier for veterans to transition from the military to a job in the private sector.

Three other bills up today would name federal buildings, H.R. 185, H.R. 2251, and H.R. 3096. 

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