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 ReidOPINION | 5 ways Democrats can win back power in the states THE MEMO: Trump's base cheers attacks on McConnell It's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him 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 PaulRand PaulCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Glimmer of hope in bipartisan criminal justice reform effort Trump barrage stuns McConnell and his allies MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnAl Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit Congress, stop using our nation's military policy for political purposes 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.