This item has been updated.
Breaking a political fever that has raged this week between Democrats and Republicans regarding changes in Senate procedure, Senate leaders agreed Friday to scrap a series of weekend votes and to begin debating a bipartisan budget agreement next Tuesday.
The Senate will hold one final vote Friday to confirm Heather Higginbottom to serve as a deputy secretary of state for management and then set up votes to be held Monday evening to confirm President Obama's pick to serve as an assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs and Jeh C. Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Due to procedural rules, the Senate will be open and in session Sunday if senators wish to speak, but no votes will be cast, Reid said.
Debate on the budget agreement, passed overwhelmingly in the House on Thursday night, will begin Tuesday, Reid added.
The agreement came hours after senators showed up to an almost-empty U.S. Capitol Friday morning as a peach sky crested over the U.S. Supreme Court across the street. Shortly after 7 a.m., senators voted 79 to 6 to confirm Deborah Lee James to serve as the next secretary of the Air Force. She would be the second woman to hold the position.