“There is still hope that we could vote on a limited number of amendments and move to final passage of this bill tonight,” Reid said. “Sens. 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.”
As for the budget, the Senate will be locked into 50 hours of floor debate on the resolution regardless of when Reid brings it up. Special rules for budget debates dictate the timing. Once the time expires, senators face an unlimited number of up-or-down votes on amendments to the resolution, leading to a marathon voting session that aides have previously expected to take place Thursday of this week, perhaps lingering into the wee hours of Friday morning. The voting can go on as long as Senators demand votes on their amendments.
Reid did later mention the possibility of unlimited amendments.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.