Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) is vowing to move forward with two key bills after multiple GOP setbacks pushed the Senate into a rare Friday session.
The Senate had hoped to pass legislation on Thursday aimed at combating China and have a vote on a Jan. 6 commission bill, allowing lawmakers to meet their normal Thursday exit ahead of a weeklong Memorial Day break.
Instead, a group of GOP senators, led by Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDomestic extremists return to the Capitol GOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary MORE (Wis.), kept the Senate in session until roughly 3 a.m., when they reached an agreement to come back and try again at 9 a.m.
“A few of our Republican colleagues may continue their speeches. The Senate spent two hard weeks working on this bill, we have every intention of sticking it out until the job is done and that’s what we’re going to do,” Schumer said from the Senate floor about the China legislation.
The Senate still has several hours of work ahead before they can leave town.
The group of GOP senators is speaking out from the Senate floor, arguing their colleagues should have more time to understand what is in the China bill, a top priority for Schumer.
Senators were forced back to the Capitol late Thursday night after it became clear that Johnson and his allies were unhappy with a final package of amendments.
“How can anybody comprehend that?” Johnson said. “We’re going to try and take as much time as we possibly can so we can fully consider this bill.”
After the group finishes speaking on Friday morning, the Senate still has several more procedural hurdles, including potentially dozens of more hours of debate, until they can get to a final vote on the China legislation, potentially keeping them in session until late Friday.
After that, Democrats are expected to force a test vote on the House-passed bill to create a commission to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, which is all but guaranteed to fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance.
Democrats are also expected to hold initial votes on nominations before leaving town.