The Senate appeared to have enough Republican support to beat a filibuster threat Tuesday and end debate on a compromise two-year budget deal, lawmakers said.
A vote to end debate Tuesday evening would pave the way for a Wednesday vote on the budget deal that would end the threat of a government shutdown for two years, the lawmakers said.
Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said Monday they supported the budget deal worked out by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and would vote to cut off debate on it.
They followed GOP Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who also said they would vote to end formal debate and proceed to final passage.
"I think it's important that we have this agreement," McCain told CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday.
The procedural vote to end debate, known as cloture, needs at least 60 votes to overcome a filibuster threat and move the legislation to final passage.
If all 55 Senate Democrats vote "yes" on cloture, supporters would need at least five Republicans to join them. They have at least seven, if the senators don't change their minds.
"This agreement isn't everything I'd hoped it would be, and it isn't what I would have written," Hatch said in a statement Monday.
"But sometimes the answer has to be yes," he said. "The reality is that Republicans only control one-half of one-third of government. Ultimately, this agreement upholds the principles conservatives stand for and, with Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, it is the best we could hope for."
The budget deal, which sailed through the House Thursday with a 332-94 vote, calls for defense and non-defense spending to rise to $1.012 trillion this fiscal year from the $967 billion already slated. The increase eases across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.
Spending next fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, would rise to $1.014 trillion from $995 billion.
The measure also phases in revenue hikes and spending offsets that lawmakers promise will lead to a net $23 billion deficit reduction over a decade.
Several liberal Democrats have said they are unhappy the deal doesn't extend unemployment insurance to millions of out-of-work Americans.