McConnell sets up Senate to finish Friday
 
The Republican leader said senators have reached a deal to speed up votes on the year-end omnibus spending bill, as well as a separate tax package.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The agreement puts the Senate on track to finish its work Friday afternoon. Under the deal, the tax and spending bills, which are being moved simultaneously in the Senate to save time, could face up to three procedural votes before final passage. 
 
Senate Republicans had previously suggested they would try to move the legislation on Friday. 
 
"Nobody, I think, sees any benefit of stringing this out any longer than necessary, so my hope is that we'll be able to conclude this Friday," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSanders says Juneteenth should be a national holiday Sanders says Juneteenth should be a national holiday GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (Texas), the chamber's Republican whip, told reporters. 
 
The Senate had been scheduled to adjourn for the year on Friday, but passing a short-term spending bill that ran through Tuesday, Dec. 22, raised concerns that lawmakers could stay in Washington into next week.
 
McConnell announced the deal on the Senate floor, which requires the consent of every senator, just as Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-Fla.) was suggesting in a television interview that he could slow down the spending package.
 
“We should use every procedural aspect that we have to slow it down and perhaps force some changes on these things we've been discussing,” Rubio, who is running for president, told Fox News.
 
But Democrats quickly pounced on the senator's comments, suggesting he had missed his chance to block the Senate from voting on Friday. 
 
"There's nothing Sen. Rubio can do to 'slow down' the votes now that the time agreement is locked in," Adam Jentleson, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKey endorsements: A who's who in early states Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview MORE (D-Nev.) said on Twitter.