Senate advances budget deal
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A two-year budget deal overcame a procedural hurdle early Friday morning, paving the way for final passage.

Senators voted 63-35 to end debate on a deal to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.


While every Democrat supported the deal, the measure divided Republicans.

Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Prospects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer Ted Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRepublicans wary of US action on Iran EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Rand Paul: Almost every mass shooter 'is sending off signals' MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (Fla.), all candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, voted against moving forward, while Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump fires back at Graham over Iran criticism Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE (R-S.C.), another White House contender, voted to advance it.

Conservatives have been quick to criticize the legislation, which passed the House on Wednesday.

Cruz slammed the deal and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE for more than an hour on Thursday night, calling the Kentucky Republican the "the most effective Democratic leader we've seen in modern times."

Paul added early Friday morning that the agreement "represents the worst of Washington culture."

Under chamber rules, senators can debate the agreement for an additional 30 hours after the 1 a.m. vote, with any individual senator limited to one hour.

McConnell warned lawmakers that he would keep the Senate in session until it takes a final vote on the budget deal, no matter how long it takes.

"It's my hope that the debate time will be extremely limited and that we'll be able to move to a passage vote almost immediately after the 1 a.m. [vote]," he added. "The timing, however, is up to any individual senator who claims debate time after the 1 a.m. vote."

The rare late-night session comes after McConnell teed up the procedural vote on Wednesday. Under Senate rules, the earliest the vote could have happened was 1 a.m. If senators had wanted to try to move up the vote, they would have needed the consent of every senator, including Paul, whose presidential campaign fundraised off dragging out the procedural clock by saying he was leading a "debt ceiling filibuster."

Asked if there was any “frustration” from Republican lawmakers over the late vote, Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) suggested that he would rather start voting at 1 a.m. versus staying through Friday.

“Most of us of have plans. ... I’d rather do it tonight at 1 than tomorrow,” Corker — who is scheduled to travel to Bahrain — told reporters on Thursday afternoon.