Senate advances CR as it inches toward government shut down deadline

The Senate is considering the continued spending resolution, negotiated by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiOvernight Energy: Senate panel approves EPA spending, rules bill Senate panel breaks with House on cuts to IRS Dems propose to boost DOJ funding by M MORE (D-Md.) and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), which sets the same spending levels as a government funding measure approved by the House earlier this month.

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But the Senate bill adds three full appropriations measures to the House version. The House bill, H.R. 933, funded Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs programs, while the Senate version adds appropriations for Agriculture, Homeland Security and the Commerce, Justice and Science funds.

“Number one, this avoids a government shut down,” Shelby said. “That should appeal to everyone in this body.”

If the House and Senate don’t agree on a final bill by March 27, the government will shut down.

“Do we want to make the perfect the enemy of the good?” Mikulski said. “Do we want to avoid a government shut down? Say what, Sen. Mikulski — a government shutdown? … We could actually pass a bill that the House would accept — hallelujah.”

Reid proposed that there be nine more amendment votes — mostly on GOP amendments — before final passage, but Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteMcConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Republicans blast latest Gitmo transfer Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (R-N.H.) objected, saying she wanted a vote on her amendment to reallocate $380 million for a missile program to the military operations and maintenance budget in light of sequester cuts.

Reid said changes to defense spending could jeopardize House approval.

“The House was very emphatic that they would not be flexible on funding defense matters,” Reid said.

Reid has said he wanted to finish work on the C.R. by the end of Monday so that the House had time to vote on the Senate changes. He also wanted to finish work on the measure so that the Senate could move onto consideration of the budget resolution in order to complete work before the Easter recess.

Unless a deal is reached, a vote on final passage of the C.R. can't occur until 30 hours after cloture is invoked.

Republican Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderBipartisan gun measure survives test vote Overnight Healthcare: GOP plan marks new phase in ObamaCare fight Stoddard: The great Trump rebellion MORE (Tenn.), Roy BluntRoy BluntGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns White House makes last-ditch plea for opioid funding MORE (Mo.), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanOvernight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies Overnight Tech: Trade groups press NC on bathroom law GOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' MORE (Ark.), Thad CochranThad CochranWeek ahead: GOP to unveil ObamaCare replacement plan Senate panel breaks with House on cuts to IRS Overnight Healthcare: GOP ObamaCare plan to leave out key dollar figures | States get help to hold line on premiums MORE (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA House Republicans pushing gun control bill The Trail 2016: Berning embers MORE (Maine), Mike JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (Neb.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Amateur theatrics: An insult to Africa Dem senator blocks push to tie 'gun ban' to spending bill MORE (Ga.), John HoevenJohn HoevenSenate panel approves funding boost for TSA Overnight Energy: Senate Dems block energy, water bill a third time Bison declared national mammal MORE (N.D.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiKerry visits Arctic Circle to see climate impacts Senate panel clears EPA spending bill, blocking rules Momentum slows for major energy bill MORE (Alaska) and Shelby voted with Democrats to advance the bill. Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment MORE (Mont.) was the only Democrat to vote against the motion.

This article was updated at 7:20 p.m. to include how some senators voted.

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