Senate Could Work Between Holidays for Criminal Justice Bill

More GOP support cited by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate will take up a bipartisan criminal justice bill this month after changes to the text secured more support from Republicans, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday.

Senators could turn to the new text as early as the end of this week, he said.

Given the number of items now on the Senate floor agenda, McConnell issued a warning about the schedule for the end of the year.

“Unless we approach all this work in a highly collaborative, productive way and take real advantage of unanimous consent to expedite proceedings, it is virtually certain that the Senate will need to be in session between Christmas and New Year’s in order to complete this work,” McConnell said. “The Senate is a consent-based institution. Expediting this work would require an extraordinary degree of collaboration and hard work from everyone. So members should either prepare to cooperate and work together — or prepare for a very, very long month.”

His announcement comes as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi head to the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump on funding for his proposed border wall and what time remains in the 115th Congress.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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