Reid sets up last-minute votes

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled votes for Thursday evening on border legislation, highway funding and reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The vote series — coming just before the Senate starts a five-week recess — will start at 6:45 p.m. with a bill that would provide $2.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the influx of child immigrants across the border.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) $3.57 billion border bill, which also includes money for wildfires in the West and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, isn’t likely to get enough GOP support to overcome a filibuster.

When the border vote is over, the Senate will then move to consider a House-passed conference committee report aimed at revamping the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department healthcare system.

The VA legislation is expected to pass easily.

Next up will be the House’s $10.9 billion highway bill. The Senate voted earlier this week to amend that legislation, but the House rejected the changes on Thursday, forcing senators to either support the original version or risk highway projects coming to a screeching halt this summer.

Reid did not announce whether the Senate would be in session on Friday, but if all the legislative work is completed Thursday night, it seems unlikely. 

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