Urgent: Senate now in negotiations to accelerate timetable to finish CR to fund government
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
Fox has learned that there are active conversations going on now in an effort to yield back the 30 hours of post cloture required by Senate rules…and MAYBE even call up the actual CR TONIGHT.
This is MAJOR because it could accelerate the process significantly for the Senate approving a CR to avoid a government shutdown and punting the altered legislation back to the House.
If the Senate were to get onto the bill tonight, it would have an agreement among all senators to yield back the 30 hours (otherwise, there would be a procedural vote at 7:23 pm et Thursday). And the Senate could approve by unanimous consent the hurdle that stands on the way from it actually getting on to the CR itself…which funds the government and defunds Obamacare.
Under this scenario, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would then file cloture tonight to cut off all debate on the bill. The Senate would then debate the CR tonight and tomorrow…and the cloture petition to end all debate…would ripen Friday…rather than Saturday…one day early.
It is unclear if the Senate would hold a cloture vote at 1:01 am Friday (ala the current timetable for 1:01 am Saturday). But that vote would need 60 yeas and would undoubtedly be the most crucial vote of this entire process.
If they have an agreement…it is probable the Senate WOULD NOT have to burn an ADDITIONAL 30 hours (as allowed by Senate rules) after the cloture vote to halt all debate. That means it’s possible the Senate COULD get to finishing the bill….not just one day early, but TWO DAYS EARLY.
Then, the Senate would have to adopt amendments modifying the bill offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). He would restore the funding for Obamacare. Those votes simply need 51 yeas.
Finally, the Senate would advance to final passage of the modified CR…needing 51 yeas…and ship it back to the House.
This is a big deal if they can work this out because it gives the House a lot more time to work with…and conceivably deal with Congressional “Ping-Pong” as they bounce the bill back and forth between the bodies.
The old scenario had the Senate not finishing the CR until Sunday…which is a nightmare for the House…as the House could (could) get jammed because of the clock.
The government is funded through 11:59:59 pm Monday, September 30.
To be clear, this is very preliminary..and they might not work this all out tonight. But a senior Senate source tells Fox “my guess is we will get on the bill tonight.”
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill