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Senate has no breakthrough on stopgap timing, as leaders shoot for Wednesday vote

Senate leaders are working to negotiate a time agreement that would help them speedily vote on the House-passed stopgap before the weekend.

But as of midday Wednesday, they’re not there yet.

“They’re working on it,” said Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the No. 3 in Senate Democratic leadership. “I think it’s certainly on the way to getting done and it’s conceivable it could be later today.”

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) also said he thinks the stopgap bill will go Wednesday. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that morning that he’s working with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on reaching a deal. Schumer filed cloture on the bill Wednesday morning — and despite Speaker Mike Johnson’s wonky two-tiered deadline construct, Schumer has offered minimal critiques of the legislation.

But conservatives could still stand in the way of any quick deal. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — notorious for threatening to withhold unanimous consent — hasn’t publicly made any promises to let the measure sail through. And if amendment votes come to the floor, it will significantly slow the process down.

The Senate is scheduled to be in session Thursday. But if lawmakers do manage to send the bill to the president’s desk Wednesday, they could leave town early ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It would be nice to wrap this up,” Stabenow said.

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