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 Henry HoevenGOP anxious with Trump on trade GOP lawmakers to Trump: Don't fire Mueller Government needs to help small businesses follow regulations MORE (R-N.D.) that would authorize the Keystone XL pipeline without President Obama's approval, and one from Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWeek ahead: Senate takes up surveillance bill This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump 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 Bruce VitterWhere is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters The Senate 'ethics' committee is a black hole where allegations die MORE (R-La.) to extend oil and gas drilling permits in the Outer Continental Shelf, and one from Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in Congress should take the lead on reworking a successful Iran deal North Korea tensions ease ahead of Winter Olympics 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 Levy BoxerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push Billionaire Steyer announces million for Dem House push 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.