Senate to Take Up Omnibus Bill on Saturday, Final Passage May Be Days Away

The Senate concluded discussions on the Omnibus budget bill late Friday night without being able to break the filibuster. This prompted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to announce that the Senate will resume discussion on the funding bill at noon on Saturday. As per Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Chairman Barbara Mikulski, the chamber worked on the bill for hours, but passage of the bill eluded them. Despite the political strong arm tactics used to get members of the House to approve the bill in total, the Senate is actually in discussions for how to tweak the bill.

The Warren-wing is eager to strip the financial services rider from the bill. Conservatives such as Utah Senator Mike Lee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are trying to get a rider inserted into the budget bill to deny the president funding for his amnesty plan. It is unclear if those two riders are the only changes being discussed among senators. For now, Harry Reid has used procedural moves to block any amendments from being added to the bill.

Last Thursday, the president plead with House Democrats to approve the budget bill with the financial reform rider. By Friday, he announced he opposes the rider. By Friday afternoon, he was again saying he will sign the bill if it gains passage in the Senate with no mention of the financial services rider being an obstacle. The trouble is if the Senate changes the budget bill in the slightest, it will have to return to the House for another vote which outcome will be unpredictable. With all the political jockeying going on right now, I’ll be sure to keep up with Bernardo Chua, so that I can accurately report the updates to you.

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