McConnell sets up spending votes for Thursday

McConnell sets up spending votes for Thursday
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE (R-Ky.) is setting up the chamber to take up two bills to fund the government as soon as Thursday, as Congress races to prevent a shutdown.

McConnell, wrapping up the chamber's work for Tuesday, filed cloture on the two fiscal year 2020 funding bills, paving the way for them to come up for an initial vote on the Senate floor as soon as Thursday.

The House passed the two bills on Tuesday, meaning after the Senate votes they will go to President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's desk, where GOP senators hope he will sign them.


Trump has until the end of the day Friday to sign the two bills and prevent the second shutdown of the year.

Senate leadership has not yet locked in a time for the chamber's votes on the two spending packages, though Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Nadler gets under GOP's skin Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on MORE (R-Texas), an advisor to McConnell, told reporters he expected they would take place on Thursday.

Absent consent from every senator, the Senate's final votes on the spending packages could be kicked to Friday.

Senators also need to clear 13 district judge nominations, with votes on the slate expected to start on Wednesday. If Democrats don't agree to a deal on the nominations, those votes would eat up 26 hours of floor time.

Lawmakers are voting on the fiscal year 2020 bills in two packages because Trump pledged he would not sign an omnibus—when all 12 funding bills are folded into one piece of legislation.