Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said a Thursday Senate vote on legislation to keep the government funded was unlikely and that, when the Senate does vote, it will reject the legislation from the House.
Reid made the scheduling comments on the Senate floor after a discussion with House Democratic leaders.
“I just talked with the House Democratic leadership, and right now the Republicans are still trying to get enough votes to pass something over there,” Reid said, referring to the House. “[I] have to say we are having a caucus [meeting] in a few minutes, but I can’t see us doing anything tonight.”
“I think I could probably speak for everybody on this side that if we had a choice between wrapping all of this up sometime tonight as opposed to coming back tomorrow, I think it’s pretty safe in saying we would prefer ... to complete the job tonight,” he said, noting there is a recess scheduled for next week. “I think our preference would be to grind through and try to get to the end tonight.”
Reid said he agreed — that he would prefer to finish it tonight — but suggested the Senate might not receive the bill until after midnight.
Later Thursday, Reid issued a statement that blasted the House legislation.
“The bill the House will vote on tonight is not an honest effort at compromise. It fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate,” Reid said in a statement Thursday night.
“I was optimistic that my House Republican colleagues would learn from their failure yesterday and move towards the middle. Instead, they moved even further towards the Tea Party.”
Reid said the Senate was ready to stay in session next week, potentially canceling a scheduled recess.
The House is expected to vote Thursday on legislation to keep the government funded beyond the end of the month. GOP leaders in the House were working to cobble the votes together after four dozen of their members rejected a similar spending measure on Wednesday.
House Republicans moved to include the "Solyndra option," which will strip $100 million from the Energy Department's green-energy loan guarantee program that backed the failed California solar-power firm.
Russell Berman contributed.