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Senate to push funding bill vote up against shutdown deadline

Senate to push funding bill vote up against shutdown deadline
© Greg Nash

Senators are poised to punt passage of a must-pass stopgap government funding bill into next week and up against the Wednesday deadline to prevent a shutdown. 

The Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote related to the continuing resolution (CR) on Thursday, but then leave town for the weekend. GOP senators say passage of the funding bill, which would keep the government open through Dec. 11, would take place either on Tuesday evening or Wednesday. 

"I just heard on the floor a minute ago from the staff that we’re going to come back Tuesday evening and vote on the CR," said Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyWorking together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: GOP cool to White House's .6T coronavirus price tag | Company layoffs mount as pandemic heads into fall | Initial jobless claims drop to 837,000 MORE (R-Ala.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee. 

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Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 GOP senator, and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntWorking together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 Trump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (R-Mo.), a second member of leadership, both said that the Senate would return on Tuesday and either hold a final vote on the funding bill on Tuesday or on Wednesday.  

The House passed the CR earlier this week in a 359-57 vote after Democrats rekindled negotiations with Republicans that had temporarily stalled because of a dispute over farm aid. 

The decision comes amid growing tensions in the Senate over the decision by Republicans to try to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgHow recent Supreme Court rulings will impact three battleground states The false promise and real danger of Barrett's originalism Girl Scouts spark backlash from left after congratulating Justice Amy Coney Barrett MORE's Supreme Court seat in the midst of an election year, with growing support within the GOP caucus for trying to confirm whomever Trump is expected to nominate on Saturday.  

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE (D-N.Y.) invoked the "two-hour rule" earlier this week, limiting the ability for committees to meet after the chamber had been in session for two hours. The move rankled Republicans, and frustrated some Democrats.   

Democrats are mulling their procedural options, arguing that the Senate should not have "business as usual" if Republicans are going to confirm a Supreme Court nominee for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE after refusing to give Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandWhat a Biden administration should look like McConnell and Schumer's relationship shredded after court brawl Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court MORE, former President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, a vote in 2016.  

But Democrats have also shut down talk of using the funding bill as leverage in the Supreme Court fight. 

“Well, none of us has any interest in shutting down government. That — that has such a harmful and painful impact on so many people in our country. So I would hope that we can just proceed with that. There is some enthusiasm among some, exuberance on the left to say let's use that, but we're not going to be shutting down government,” House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE (D-Calif.) said.