OPIOID SERIES:

Reid reaches deal to put disaster relief on path to Senate passage

Senate Republicans have relented from their objections and agreed to allow the upper chamber to vote on a $7 billion bill giving assistance to states hit hard by floods and fires.
 
The Senate is expected to vote around 4 p.m. Thursday on Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism Dems to party: Go on offense with Trump’s alleged affairs MORE’s (D-Nev.) disaster-relief package.
 

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To pave the way for a vote, Reid agreed to schedule votes on amendments sponsored by Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE (R-Okla.) to offset the bill’s cost.
 
Coburn’s amendment would cut $7 billion in general spending by consolidating duplicative and overlapping government programs.
 
Paul’s amendment would rescind funds from foreign assistance programs.
 
Reid’s package, as well as the Coburn and Paul amendments, needs 60 votes to pass.

The Coburn and Paul measures are expected to fail; Reid's is assured of reaching the 60-vote threshold set for final Senate passage.
 
The agreement clears a major hurdle to avoiding a weekend session of votes. Reid and Republicans, however, must still reach agreement on short-term extensions of the highway and Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bills.
 
“I hope you don’t have weekend plans,” a Senate aide said.