Thursday: Senate starts votes on spending bill amendments

The second, from Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), would establish the National Criminal Justice Commission. Both amendments need 60 votes for passage.

At 2 p.m., the Senate will vote on four additional amendments from:

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), to prohibit spending on rail projects unless the raw materials are U.S.-sourced;

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), to boost Housing and Urban Development funding by about $7 million;

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), to ensure $8 million is used for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act; and

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to require an audit of grants awarded by the attorney general, an amendment aimed at increasing accountability following the failed "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program implemented by the Justice Department.

Several amendments are still in order, but many are likely to be denied a vote as the Senate races to complete work on the spending bill, H.R. 2112, by the end of this week.

Before work on amendments, the Senate will vote at noon on the nomination of Heather Higginbottom to be deputy director for the Office of Management and Budget.