McConnell sets up Senate to finish Friday
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) is setting up the Senate to wrap up its work for the year on Friday as lawmakers race to leave Washington for their holiday recess. 
 
The Republican leader said senators have reached a deal to speed up votes on the year-end omnibus spending bill, as well as a separate tax package.
 
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The agreement puts the Senate on track to finish its work Friday afternoon. Under the deal, the tax and spending bills, which are being moved simultaneously in the Senate to save time, could face up to three procedural votes before final passage. 
 
Senate Republicans had previously suggested they would try to move the legislation on Friday. 
 
"Nobody, I think, sees any benefit of stringing this out any longer than necessary, so my hope is that we'll be able to conclude this Friday," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (Texas), the chamber's Republican whip, told reporters. 
 
The Senate had been scheduled to adjourn for the year on Friday, but passing a short-term spending bill that ran through Tuesday, Dec. 22, raised concerns that lawmakers could stay in Washington into next week.
 
McConnell announced the deal on the Senate floor, which requires the consent of every senator, just as Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE (R-Fla.) was suggesting in a television interview that he could slow down the spending package.
 
“We should use every procedural aspect that we have to slow it down and perhaps force some changes on these things we've been discussing,” Rubio, who is running for president, told Fox News.
 
But Democrats quickly pounced on the senator's comments, suggesting he had missed his chance to block the Senate from voting on Friday. 
 
"There's nothing Sen. Rubio can do to 'slow down' the votes now that the time agreement is locked in," Adam Jentleson, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) said on Twitter.