The Senate will likely begin debate today on stopgap legislation to fund the federal government through early December, according to Senate Majority Whip Durbin.
But first, the Senate will vote on whether to end debate on legislation that would tweak the tax code to reduce outsourcing of manufacturing. That vote is expected to fail.
Following the cloture vote, the Senate would likely vote to cut off debate on the continuing resolution, Durbin said Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Reid Friday filed cloture on the CR's legislative vehicle, an appopriations bill for the State Department and foreign aid.
Durbin said the CR would extend funding through the first week of December, and other sources have put the expiration date at Dec. 3.
Durbin added that he believes the CR will continue funding at FY10 levels and will be "relatively clean" -- meaning that it will be free of extraneous spending and provisions, but he stressed that hasn't seen the measure.
One Senate Democratic aide echoed Durbin, saying that "we expect a clean CR with a very high hurdle for extras."
An off-the-Hill source who worked in the Clinton administration said he would be surprised if the CR was at lower than current levels because it would wreak havoc on agency budgets. But with the midterm election a little over a month away and Republicans intensifying their rhetoric on runaway government spending, the source said he wouldn't rule it out.
Some Republicans in the House and Senate have called for the CR to be funded at FY08 levels because that would help to return the funding baseline back to levels before the 2009 stimulus, which they say wasted taxpayer dollars.
Senate Budget ranking member Judd Gregg said last week, "The CR should be extended at 2008 levels," and that the FY11 discretionary spending should be capped at $1.108 trillion.
Democrats had planned to limit FY11 discretionary spending levels to $1.114 trillion in the Senate and $1.121 trillion in the House. They will likely have to compromise with Senate Republicans to pass an omnibus package that includes all 12 appropriations bills.
House Minority Leader Boehner in a release Monday said he wants to "roll back nondefense discretionary spending to 2008 levels, before the bailouts, takeovers, and stimulus spending, and place hard caps on future spending."
Once the Senate passes the CR, possibly Wednesday, the House will take up the measure.