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Shutdown Countdown: Four Days to Go

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Days to avert a government shutdown: Four

Where things stand: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrapped up his 21-hour and 19-minute speech on Wednesday and joined all other senators in voting unanimously on invoking cloture on the motion to proceed. At the end of a theatrical day on Capitol Hill, the Senate found a way to speed up the timeline for voting on a continuing resolution.  The Senate yielded back hours of debate, prompting a unanimous consent agreement on the motion to proceed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid then filled the tree with amendments and filed cloture on the bill itself.  This acceleration could allow for a final vote on the continuing resolution as early as Friday, providing the House of Representatives with more time to work on the bill and potentially send it back to the Senate.

Where things are heading: The agreement to yield back time on the debate over the motion to proceed accelerates the time frame for a vote on the continuing resolution. The Senate could send a bill back to the House as early as Friday and as late as Sunday, giving House Speaker John Boehner more time to work with his caucus on a bill. 

Here’s a look at the altered schedule for the Senate this week:

Thursday, Sept. 26: This will be a day of debate as the Senate prepares to vote on cloture on Friday.

Friday, Sept. 27: The Senate will vote to invoke cloture on the continuing resolution, which will require 60 votes.  If both sides agree to yield back time, there is a chance the Senate can have a final vote on the bill, which calls for 51 votes, on Friday.

Saturday, Sept. 28: If the Senate doesn’t vote on the bill on Friday, Saturday is the day. House Speaker Boehner will have a bill to work with by day’s end.

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