The stars will need to align in just the right way for the Senate to vote Thursday night on a $789.5 billion economic stimulus measure, but Members and aides would not rule out that possibility.
A Friday memorial service for Sen. Sherrod Browns (D-Ohio) mother has made a vote that day unlikely, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said if the vote does not occur Thursday evening, it would likely be pushed until Saturday.
Complicating matters, legislative aides and clerks were still translating the deal brokered by Senate and House leaders on Wednesday into legislative language, meaning that technically, the measure has not been filed in either chamber. Still, House leaders said they hope to have the conference committee text on the Internet by about 3 p.m.
Even if that happens as expected, Senate Republicans are unlikely to agree to let Democrats pass the measure immediately following release of the language, sources said. House leaders have already said they will vote Friday on the stimulus conference report, and President Barack Obama has signaled a desire to sign the measure into law by Monday.