Senate gets deal to speed up Puerto Rico bill
© Getty Images

The Senate is bumping up a final vote on a Puerto Rico debt relief bill as lawmakers prepare to leave town for the Fourth of July recess.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) locked in a series of votes for Wednesday evening, including on final passage of the bill. If senators run out the clock, votes will start shortly after 7:30 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under the deal, the House-passed legislation will still need to overcome two procedural hurdles before senators can take a final passage vote. 

Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason Reid2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again Panel: How Biden's gaffes could cost him against Trump MORE (D-Nev.) urged his colleagues to yield back some debate time, which would allow senators to vote earlier in evening. 

"I would also say just because you have the time, you don't have to use it," he said from the Senate floor. "I would hope senators on both sides would understand that the sooner we get to the votes, the better off we will be." 

The Wednesday vote paves the way for senators to potentially leave Washington a day earlier than planned for the Fourth of July break. Without Wednesday’s deal, senators would have taken a final vote on the Puerto Rico legislation on Thursday. 

But opponents of the legislation aren't easing up. 

After McConnell announced the agreement, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Bernie Sanders vows to go to 'war with white nationalism and racism' as president Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' MORE (I-Vt.) lambasted the House bill.

"This is a terrible piece of legislation, setting horrific precedent and must not be passed," he said from the Senate floor. "The United States of America should not treat Puerto Rico like a colony."