Jan. 20 is when the Senate is expected to return from its holiday recess. A continuing resolution will keep the government functioning at Fiscal Year 2003 levels through Jan. 31 when the CR is scheduled to expire.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee filed a cloture motion to cut off debate after Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Robert Byrd, ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, objected to a motion to pass the spending measure by voice vote.

The request came after the House passed the bill 242-176 Monday. e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com