House Awaits Senate Action on Omnibus

Posted March 5, 2009 at 6:38pm

Updated: 8:02 p.m.

Hoping to avoid coming into session on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is telling lawmakers to stick around until 8:30 p.m. Thursday in anticipation of the Senate finishing its consideration of the omnibus spending bill. A Senate cloture vote is expected around 8:15 p.m.

Most of the government is funded under a continuing resolution that expires at midnight on Friday. Congressional leaders are racing to pass the fiscal 2009 omnibus package and get it to President Barack Obama’s desk before the temporary spending measure expires.

The Senate is voting on a handful amendments and hoping to round up two more votes to officially end debate on the bill Thursday night, Hoyer said in remarks on the floor. Since the Senate doesn’t appear to be adopting any amendments to the House-passed bill, the House would be done with it tonight — and wouldn’t need to pass another brief continuing resolution — if the Senate completes its work tonight.

“If not, we’ll have to be here tomorrow to be sure we do not shut down the government,— Hoyer said.