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Budget Deal’s Fate Looks Good in Senate

Republican leaders, including Cornyn, right, walk Tuesday to meet the press. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Republican leaders, including Cornyn, right, walk Tuesday to meet the press. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:26 p.m. | Senators feel confident a two-year budget deal that also lifts the debt limit before the Nov. 3 deadline has the necessary support.  

Leaders are looking at 1 a.m. early Friday for a cloture vote, but the exact time is still up in the air as senators negotiate a final agreement. Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters Thursday he was confident the deal would get the 60 votes required to advance, and that the expectation is a vote on final passage could come in the hours after the cloture vote Friday morning.  

The White House-backed bill easily passed the House Wednesday.  

Senate Banking Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters “they’ll get a sizable amount, if not all of, the Democrats and some Republicans.”  

As for the substance of the deal, which raises domestic and defense spending caps, Shelby said it was a big win for President Barack Obama, adding, “It’s not anything I can support.”  

Earlier in the day, senators announced a deal on a crop insurance issue that threatened to drive away senators in heavy agriculture states.  

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., told CQ Roll Call the crop insurance deal announced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others seems sufficient for her support for the budget deal.  

“I think this level of commitment on the record and with Sen. [Pat] Roberts’ and Sen. [Debbie] Stabenow’s leadership on this, I think we’ve been able to fashion something that’ll allow us to move forward,” Heitkamp said.  

A source familiar with the discussions on timing said western lawmakers are eager to make their Friday morning flights.  

Jon Miller and Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report
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