Reid schedules votes to advance the CR as it slowly moves toward final passage

The first vote will be on an amendment from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), which would move $60 million for military investments in biofuels to operations and maintenance. He said the funds would be better used to offset sequestration cuts to military operations than for energy projects.

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The second vote will be on a substitute amendment from Mikulski and Shelby, followed by a vote on the cloture motion to end debate on H.R. 933.

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.

If cloture is invoked, Reid asked that the 30-hours post-cloture time start at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, meaning the Senate would be able to vote on final passage of the $984 billion spending bill Thursday morning.

The Senate has to send the House its final spending resolution in order for the House to accept it and avoid a government shut down on March 28. Reid had hoped to finish work on the C.R. Monday morning, but hit a snag when Republican members insisted on having votes on their amendments. 

Reid has warned that because of the delay on the C.R., the Senate will be forced to work on the budget resolution through the weekend since 50 hours of debate is required.