Cornyn: Final passage of trafficking bill 'by tomorrow'

Cornyn: Final passage of trafficking bill 'by tomorrow'
© Greg Nash
Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday he is expecting final passage of his anti-trafficking bill "by tomorrow at the latest."
 
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Cornyn told reporters Senate GOP leaders are working on a "short list of amendments" on the bill, which has been delayed for weeks over abortion funding. 
 
"It looks like we have a path forward," the Texas Republican said.
 
Senate leadership have not yet finalized the number of amendments and final passage votet has not yet been scheduled, a Republican aide said Tuesday. 
 
Cornyn and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced earlier Tuesday they struck a deal on abortion-related language in the bill, paving the way for a confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch, the administration's attorney general nominee.
 
Cornyn credited the deal, in part, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had refused to hold a vote on Lynch's nomination until Democrats stopped blocking the anti-trafficking bill. 
 
Asked whether he was satisfied by his strategy to tie the nomination to the bill, McConnell said, "I'm happy with it."
 
"I'm happy with where we are," he told reporters. 
 
Both parties have lauded the compromise while acknowledging it is far from perfect. 
 
But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) added later Tuesday that the existence of a deal does not mean they are "out of the woods." 
 
Reid said he has seen "numerous amendments, and I mean numerous" that could still undermine the agreement. 
 
"We're not going to be filibustering it," Reid said. "But we're not going to be rushed into not having a good debate on these amendments."
 
"We would vote on Lynch immediately, but they are not going to let that happen," he said. 
 
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) also cautioned that the deal still had time to come apart. 
 
"We're not there yet," Schumer said. "You never know with this Republican caucus."

— Updated at 2:42 p.m.