Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat MORE (D-Nev.) started the procedural process Sunday so that the Senate can debate and pass the budget and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) before leaving from the Christmas holiday.

Reid filed cloture on the budget deal brokered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayLive coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Senators grill Perry on Yucca nuclear storage plans Budget process drags as GOP struggles for consensus MORE (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanAs Congress debates repeal of the estate tax, why not consider ending the gift tax? Ryan: Scalise is 'doing well' and 'his spirits are up' Poll: ObamaCare more popular than House GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Wis.), which would end $63 billion of sequester spending cuts, and add in new fees and some federal savings to cut the budget deficit by $23 billion more in 2014.

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It easily passed the House in a 332-94 vote last week, but Reid will need at least five Republicans to join Democrats in ending debate on the measure. Most Senate Republicans have criticized the plan for not reducing the deficit solely through spending cuts.

Similarly, the House passed a last-ditch NDAA bill 350-69, which bodes well for Senate passage. The bill is a new version of the NDAA that was developed over the last two weeks, after it became clear that fighting in the Senate over amendments would stall passage until sometime in 2014. Congress has passed an NDAA bill for 51 years.

Reid said Friday that the Senate would consider the budget deal Tuesday and the NDAA Wednesday, just days before the chamber is expected to adjourn for the year.

The Senate is expected to finish up work on the confirmation of some executive nominees Monday evening.