Reid Inches Toward Friday Votes on Sotomayor, Clunkers’

Posted August 5, 2009 at 4:05pm

Updated: 5:54 p.m.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), hoping to clear the House-backed “cash for clunkers— legislation before adjourning for the August break, will likely file a motion Wednesday to overcome Republican objections to bringing up the bill.If Reid files for cloture, the measure to pour another $2 billion into the popular program will be considered Friday, a leadership spokeswoman said.The main sticking point to swift consideration of the bill has been over how many amendments can be offered. The Senate, set to adjourn Friday, is scrambling to pass the clunkers bill and confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court by week’s end. Consideration of Sotomayor’s nomination began Tuesday, and Reid’s spokeswoman maintained that a vote on the high-court pick would be the chamber’s final piece of business this week.That means votes on the clunkers bill and Sotomayor could occur Friday.Earlier Wednesday, Reid cautioned Members that weekend votes may be necessary if the Senate’s work isn’t finished.“If we don’t work something out on the cash for clunkers, I will file a cloture petition this evening, which means we’ll have to have a cloture vote on Friday,— Reid said during morning business on the floor.“If people want to use the 30 hours, it goes over until Saturday,— the Majority Leader warned.A senior GOP aide said “Republicans are working toward an opportunity to offer amendments to the proposal.—Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has a handful of amendments that are part of the negotiations, predicted an agreement will be reached before the weekend. “We’ll get it done tomorrow,— Coburn said Wednesday, labeling Reid’s cloture motion “just a tactic.—