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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 ShelbyGAO rules Biden freeze on border wall funds legal The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (R-Ala.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee. 

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Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoJudge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' Biden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 GOP senator, and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler launches Missouri Senate bid Cryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for 'regulatory clarity' 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 GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go 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 SchumerSenate panel unanimously advances key Biden cyber nominees Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term 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 TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE after refusing to give Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandSenate Judiciary Democrats demand DOJ turn over Trump obstruction memo Garland strikes down Trump-era asylum decisions What's happened to Merrick Garland? 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 Pelosi Pelosi says she's giving Senate more time on Jan. 6 commission Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package Pelosi picks Democrats for special panel tackling inequality MORE (D-Calif.) said.