Failed omnibus talks set up another working weekend for Senate

Failed omnibus talks set up another working weekend for Senate

A final effort to avoid a weekend of votes fell apart Thursday evening when Senate Democratic and Republican leaders failed to reach agreement to consider an omnibus spending bill on Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial Left presses 2020 Democrats to retake the courts from Trump MORE (D-Nev.) filed a motion to cut off debate on a $447 billion appropriations conference report on Thursday night. As a result, the Senate will vote on the motion to end debate on Saturday and likely vote to pass the spending legislation on Sunday.

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The collapse in negotiations sets up the second consecutive working weekend for weary senators. Reid says he has fielded complaints from colleagues because of the nonstop pace. One colleague told the leader that she has not seen her family for several weeks, Reid reported earlier in the day.

Reid was forced to cancel a Saturday fundraiser in New Orleans with Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.) and Democratic consultant James Carville.

Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution Roberts admonishes House managers, Trump lawyers after heated exchange MORE (R-Ky.) also failed to reach agreement on a proposal to vote on four healthcare-related amendments.

Reid proposed a Thursday evening vote on amendment sponsored by Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDrug price outrage threatens to be liability for GOP It's time for the Senate to advance cannabis banking reform On The Money: Senate chairman opposes cannabis banking bill | Panel advances Trump pick for Small Business Administration | Judge tosses NY state fraud charges against Manafort MORE (R-Idaho), Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor MORE (D-Mont.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

The Crapo amendment would have sent the healthcare bill back to committee to strip out all taxes on individuals who earn less than $200,000 and families earning less than $250,000.

The Baucus amendment is a side-by-side resolution to the Crapo measure.

The Dorgan amendment would allow the importation of cheaper drugs from foreign countries. The Lautenberg amendment is a side-by-side resolution to Dorgan’s measure that would make it more difficult to lift limits on drug importation.


McConnell objected to the consideration of four amendments on Thursday evening because he said the Lautenberg amendment was close to 100 pages long and Republicans were given only an hour to review it.

Reid countered that the amendment was based on legislation that Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid Biden has a lot at stake in first debate MORE (R-Miss.) offered in the past that would require the secretary of Health and Human Services to certify that imported drugs posed no safety risks.

A Senate aide said Republicans objected for the additional reason that Reid requested votes on three Democratic amendments and one GOP measure, an uneven ratio.

The Senate will reconsider votes on the healthcare amendments on Friday. The chamber has not voted on a healthcare amendment since Tuesday.