From NBC's Ken Strickland
In votes earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid secured the 60 votes needed to advance a bill that would send $26 billion to states to help with Medicaid and education funding.
Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe joined with all members of the Democratic caucus to push to vote total to 61.
Assuming the Senate passes the bill later this week, it would still have to be passed by the House -- which is already in its summer recess -- before it goes to the president for his signature.
We still don't know when the Senate will take the final vote on Kagan. The working assumption is that it will be sometime Thursday afternoon/evening.