Leahy's spokesperson confirmed that the bill, which enjoys broad bipartisan support in the Senate, would bypass committee and face a floor vote soon.
The move puts pressure on House Republicans to act on the widely popular measure, which expired in 2011 but has continued to receive funding through the appropriations process. House Democrats have introduced the same bill as the Senate. It eliminates a provision from last year's Senate-passed bill which raised revenue. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) cited that provision in declining to move on the bill. Revenue-raising measures must originate in the House, according to the Constitution. By stripping out that language, proponents hope to deny Boehner use of that procedural objection.
So far, House Republican leaders have been mum on the issue. Two House GOP leadership aides did not respond to requests for comment.