Senate vote-a-thon on highway bill amendments could stretch until next week

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A Senate Democratic aide told The Hill that about 10 amendments will be voted on Thursday, with the remaining votes expected to come next Tuesday.

The amendments to be considered include a measure from Sen. John HoevenJohn HoevenFive regulations that could come in Obama's final days ND senator calls for remaining Dakota Access protesters to leave Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules MORE (R-N.D.) that would authorize the Keystone XL pipeline without President Obama's approval, and one from Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenHere comes Trump-o-nomics Lawmakers join women's marches in DC and nationwide Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era MORE (D-Ore.) that would block exporting oil brought into the country through the controversial pipeline.

Also to be considered is an amendment from Sen. David VitterDavid VitterLobbying World Bottom Line Republicans add three to Banking Committee MORE (R-La.) to extend oil and gas drilling permits in the Outer Continental Shelf, and one from Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerRubio to vote for Tillerson Top Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote This week: Congressional Republicans prepare to huddle with Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) to reduce the 2013 discretionary spending cap.

Several of the measures will require 60 votes to be approved.

Democrats have framed relenting on amendments as the only way to move forward in the Senate on the transportation bill, which even Republican leaders in the House have publicly acknowledged could end up forming the basis of a final authorization measure that becomes law.

"I was hoping we wouldn't have to face convoluted amendments that are completely non-germane amendments, but they are insisting on them, so we'll have to deal with those," Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Becerra formally nominated for Calif. attorney general 10 freshmen to watch in the new Congress MORE, the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who has shepherded the transportation bill to the Senate floor, said in a press conference Wednesday. 

"It probably would be rolling back Clean Air Act rules," Boxer said of the amendments to the highway bill. "I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that, but there are some that want to do that."

The Senate began consideration of the highway bill amendments at 9:30 Thursday morning. The chamber is expected to resume debating the measure at about 10:45. 


— Pete Kasperowicz contributed to this report.