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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 ShelbyOn 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 GOP cool to White House's .6T coronavirus price tag The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election MORE (R-Ala.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee. 

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Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoHillicon 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 Energy innovation bill can deliver jobs and climate progress MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 GOP senator, and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPower players play chess match on COVID-19 aid GOP to Trump: Focus on policy Low-flying helicopters to measure radiation levels in DC before inauguration 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 GinsburgThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis Trump when asked if he'd be kinder in his second term: 'Yes, I think so' 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 SchumerFive takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference Pelosi calls Iran 'bad actor' but not equivalent to Russia on election interference Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump 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 TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE after refusing to give Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandRepublicans advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination after Democrats boycott committee vote Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett 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 PelosiTrump predicts GOP will win the House Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs | On The Money: Pelosi cites progress, but says COVID-19 relief deal might be post-election | Eviction crisis sparked by pandemic disproportionately hits minorities | Weekly jobless claims fall to 787K MORE (D-Calif.) said.