Reid sets procedural vote Monday on FDA bill

Voting to end debate on the motion to proceed on Monday would allow the Senate to vote on the motion to proceed as early as Wednesday. Reid said earlier in the day that he hoped he could reach a procedural agreement allowing the bill to go forward without these delays.

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"I hope we don't have to file cloture on a motion to proceed to this life-saving legislation," Reid said Thursday morning, hours before he would do just that. "If we have a vote on cloture on this thing Monday, then we can't get on this thing until Wednesday and start legislating. How foolish."

Reid did not explain what the specific problem was, but indicated it had to do with which amendments to the bill might be allowed.

The bill would establish a user-fee program for generic and biosimilar drugs, which could lead to faster approvals of these products, because the user fees would help the FDA add staffing for these applications.

The Senate adjourned early Thursday afternoon, after Reid passed several bills by unanimous consent and set up a Monday vote at 5:30 p.m. on a motion to end debate on the nomination of Paul Watford to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the 9th Circuit. If cloture on the Watford nomination fails, the Senate would move immediately to the cloture vote on the FDA bill.

By unanimous consent, the Senate also approved the following House-passed bills before adjourning:

H.R. 4045, to ensure armed services members receive the time off they were promised before the Defense Department changed its policy.

H.R. 4119, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act.

H.R. 4849, the Sequoia and Kings County National Parks Backcountry Access Act, as amended by the Senate.

H.R. 2415, H.R. 3220 and H.R. 3413, three bills naming post offices.

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