McConnell files cloture on omnibus, setting up first vote Saturday

McConnell files cloture on omnibus, setting up first vote Saturday
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (R-Ky.) is teeing up the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill approved earlier Thursday by the House to stave off a possible government shutdown that would begin at midnight Friday.

McConnell filed cloture on the mammoth funding bill from the Senate floor early Thursday evening. 

The move sets up an initial vote on the legislation for early Saturday morning — roughly an hour after the deadline to prevent the third shutdown of the year — at the earliest. 

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After that, senators could drag out debate on a bill for an additional 30 hours, which could set up a final vote on Sunday.
 
Republicans have made it clear they want to vote Thursday, allowing lawmakers to leave for a two-week recess as scheduled. 
 
 
Paul, who forced an hours-long shutdown last month, has kept his colleagues in the dark about his intentions. 
 
Instead, he's been tweeting out his progress reading the 2000-plus page bill. 
 
"Page 281 of 'crumni-bus,' " he tweeted shortly after 4:30 p.m. 
 
Republican senators acknowledge they have no idea what he's planning. 
 
"I think people realize the handwriting is on the wall," said GOP Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Cornyn says he 'would be surprised' if GOP tries to unseat Sinema in 2024 MORE (Texas). "I just figured I would let him speak up if he wants to speak, and if he doesn't we'll vote."
 
– This story was updated at 7:30 p.m.