Then Reid asked Coburn, through the Senate chair, how many amendments Senate Republicans would want attached to a five-year extension to bring it up for a vote. Coburn said the extension would probably need one or two.
Reid said he would be fine with one or two amendments as long as they were related to the bill.
"I will continue working with my friend maybe there's some way that we can work together, figure out a way to move this forward," Reid said. "If my friend from Oklahoma would be also make a decision on his side to have, as he indicated cogent amendments, relevant amendments we could put this in a little package and move to it without having to file cloture. So I'll work on my side to find out what amendments there are. And if my friend can do that on Monday or Tuesday we'll talk about this and see if we can get a very concise agreement —this is very important legislation."
In response, Coburn said he would check with Senate Republicans on whether they could come to an agreement on how many amendments to attach to a long-term extension so that Reid would not be forced to file cloture and the legislation could pass the Senate quickly.
"I appreciate what the majority leader has said and I will work my side of the aisle to see if a possibility of moving this is there and will give it my hundred percent effort between now and next Monday when I see the majority leader to see if we can't do it," Coburn said.
Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives is set to vote on H.R. 5740, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act, which extends the program through June. The House bill includes a number of reforms . The short-term Senate extension does not call for reforms to the program, rather it just extends the program to the end of 2012.
—This story was updated at 9:56 p.m.