The Senate approved a bill to provide further disaster relief funding on Saturday morning, but killed a companion resolution that would have provided off-sets in the federal budget.
In between votes on the 2012 spending package, the Senate quickly approved S.Res. 349, honoring the actions of member of the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq.
The resolution (text unavailable) was approved by a unanimous vote vote.
The resolution was offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), just two days after the U.S. officially ended its military activities in Iraq.
The Senate on Saturday morning overwhelming cleared a plan to extend President Obama's signature pay roll tax holiday for two-months into next year.
Democrats in the Senate have been attempting the extend that tax holiday for the last several weeks but ran into oppositions from Republicans who objected to a tax hike on millionaires Democrats repeatedly attempted to attach to it.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) temporarily derailed plans to vote in the Senate Saturday morning when he objected to a deal struck by leadership to expedite floor proceedings.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had not yet finished calculating the final price of the deal struck between leaders on the payroll tax cut extension legislation but that the report would be ready by 10 a.m. As such Reid suggested the Senate vote on the omnibus spending legislation first and the payroll bill second.
As expected, the Senate will take a series of four votes on Saturday morning to fund the government for fiscal year 2012 and to extend President Obama's signature tax cut legislation.
Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) on Friday night lashed out at the House-passed $915 billion spending omnibus, dismissing it as bloated with wasteful government spending.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a last-minute push from the Senate floor Friday afternoon to have language regarding the Keystone XL pipeline included in any payroll-tax-cut legislation.
McConnell attacked President Obama and Democratic leadership in Congress from the left, pointing out that plenty of rank-and-file Democrats support the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast and purportedly create thousands of jobs.
The Senate will most likely hold votes on Saturday to renew government funding, Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested in a colloquy on the Senate floor following a leadership meeting Friday morning.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Friday morning he hopes the Senate will be able to take up the $1 trillion, nine-bill appropriations omnibus for fiscal 2012 "sometime within the next 24 or 36 hours."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on the motion to proceed on the House-passed payroll tax cut extension bill, H.R. 3630 on Thursday evening.
If an agreement is not reached, the first procedural vote on that bill, the so-called "Act to Provide Incentives to Create Jobs," will take place on Saturday morning.