Senate strikes deal on how to advance spending agreement

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) proposed amendment would keep Title 42 in place. We regret the error.

The Senate on Thursday struck a deal to advance to final passage the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package that will fund the government through the end of fiscal 2023.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the deal Thursday morning.

Senators will vote on 15 amendments, including a vote on one to maintain Title 42 that had stood in the way of members reaching an accord that would get them out of town for Christmas, before voting on final passage.

The Title 42 amendment, which would keep alive the Trump-era policy that allows migrants to be expelled from the U.S., will require 51 votes to pass. 

“It’s taken a while, but it’s worth it,” Schumer said, pleading with senators to be at their desks for the duration of votes that could take hours. 

Lawmakers have been itching to get out of Washington due to the winter storm hitting much of the country ahead of Christmas.

They had hoped to begin voting overnight but the massive, 4,155-page bill stalled Wednesday night when Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) insisted on getting a vote for the Title 42 amendment. Democrats feared such an amendment, if it passed the Senate, would scuttle the bill’s chances in the House.

The block of amendments the Senate will vote on includes Lee’s proposal, as well as a side-by-side amendment from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would increase border funding and resources for border communities and extend the Title 42 health policy that expedites the deportation of migrants seeking asylum in the United States.  

The agreement could allow the Senate to pass the spending bill Thursday and give the House a chance to pass it Friday.

Alexander Bolton contributed.

Tags Chuck Schumer Kyrsten Sinema Mike Lee

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