“There is still hope that we could vote on a limited number of amendments and move to final passage of this bill tonight.”
“One way or another, we will move forward with this bill today.”
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the status of negotiations on amendments to the continuing resolution. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
I want to advise Senators on the status of negotiations to keep the government running. On Thursday, we recessed for the weekend so negotiators could attempt to reach an agreement on a finite list of amendments to consider today. The bill managers, Appropriations Committee Chairman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby, have made good progress over the weekend. I commend them, and their staffs, for all their efforts.
But they have not yet reached an agreement. Unfortunately, there has been difficulty getting Senators on both sides to agree to a finite list of amendments.
There is still hope that we could vote on a limited number of amendments and move to final passage of this bill tonight. Senators Mikulski and Shelby have worked very hard on this measure, and I am optimistic that we will find a path forward. But one way or another, we will move forward with this bill today.
On Wednesday, I filed a motion to invoke cloture on the pending substitute amendment and the underlying bill. On Thursday, we postponed that cloture vote in the hopes of reaching an agreement to consider amendments today. Absent an agreement, we will vote on the cloture petition tonight.
It is in the interest of all Senators that we move forward quickly with this important legislation. The House of Representatives awaits our action. There is a great deal to do this week on the other side of the Capitol as well. Also, the more time the Senate spends on the continuing resolution, the less time we will have later this week to vote on amendments to the budget resolution.
As a reminder, the budget resolution cannot be filibustered. But it is allowed up to 50 hours of debate. And we must reserve time this week to consider a number of amendments to the budget.
This will be a very full week. Senators should expect several long nights and late votes. And we will stay as long as it takes to complete work on both the continuing resolution and the budget resolution – even if that means working into the weekend and the Easter/Passover recess. But with a little cooperation from Senators on both sides we can finish this work.