Failed omnibus talks set up another working weekend for Senate

Failed omnibus talks set up another working weekend for Senate

A final effort to avoid a weekend of votes fell apart Thursday evening when Senate Democratic and Republican leaders failed to reach agreement to consider an omnibus spending bill on Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.) filed a motion to cut off debate on a $447 billion appropriations conference report on Thursday night. As a result, the Senate will vote on the motion to end debate on Saturday and likely vote to pass the spending legislation on Sunday.

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The collapse in negotiations sets up the second consecutive working weekend for weary senators. Reid says he has fielded complaints from colleagues because of the nonstop pace. One colleague told the leader that she has not seen her family for several weeks, Reid reported earlier in the day.

Reid was forced to cancel a Saturday fundraiser in New Orleans with Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuLandrieu dynasty faces a pause in Louisiana Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns MORE (D-La.) and Democratic consultant James Carville.

Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTeacher defeats Kentucky state House majority leader in GOP primary Conservatives leery of FBI deal on informant Lobbying world MORE (R-Ky.) also failed to reach agreement on a proposal to vote on four healthcare-related amendments.

Reid proposed a Thursday evening vote on amendment sponsored by Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Finance: House sends Dodd-Frank rollbacks to Trump | What's in the bill | Trump says there is 'no deal' to help ZTE | Panel approves bill to toughen foreign investment reviews Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure MORE (R-Idaho), Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusClients’ Cohen ties become PR liability Green Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana Business groups worried about Trump's China tariffs plan MORE (D-Mont.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

The Crapo amendment would have sent the healthcare bill back to committee to strip out all taxes on individuals who earn less than $200,000 and families earning less than $250,000.

The Baucus amendment is a side-by-side resolution to the Crapo measure.

The Dorgan amendment would allow the importation of cheaper drugs from foreign countries. The Lautenberg amendment is a side-by-side resolution to Dorgan’s measure that would make it more difficult to lift limits on drug importation.


McConnell objected to the consideration of four amendments on Thursday evening because he said the Lautenberg amendment was close to 100 pages long and Republicans were given only an hour to review it.

Reid countered that the amendment was based on legislation that Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMississippi Democrat drops Senate bid Dems look to keep up momentum in upcoming special elections Chamber of Commerce makes play in Mississippi Senate race for Hyde-Smith MORE (R-Miss.) offered in the past that would require the secretary of Health and Human Services to certify that imported drugs posed no safety risks.

A Senate aide said Republicans objected for the additional reason that Reid requested votes on three Democratic amendments and one GOP measure, an uneven ratio.

The Senate will reconsider votes on the healthcare amendments on Friday. The chamber has not voted on a healthcare amendment since Tuesday.