Reid originally said he hoped to have a deal by 11 a.m. when he set up a motion to proceed on the legislation, but at that time on Wednesday he moved the procedural move to 12:30 p.m.

Reid was less optimistic Tuesday evening that the Senate would be able to consider the bill, S. 3187. The legislation reauthorizes and expands the user-fee system at FDA, which supports say will help speed drug and device approvals at the agency.

An agreement to debate and vote on a handful amendments could allow the Senate to approve the bill before it leaves for a Memorial Day break.

—This story was updated at 11:11 a.m.

Daniel Strauss contributed reporting.