The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill allowing the governor to name an interim replacement for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
The bill goes back to both chambers for a final procedural vote on Wednesday before heading to Gov. Deval Patrick, who has said he would sign it.
Patrick's aides say they expect him to act quickly to name an appointee. The replacement would serve until voters pick a permanent replacement Jan. 19.
Lawmakers have come under pressure from Washington to pass the bill so Democrats can regain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to help pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.