Senate advances funding bill to avert a government shutdown

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is delivering  on his end of the bargain to avert a government shutdown on October 1. The Hill reports, Senate advances bill to prevent shutdown:

Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in WashingtonA short-term bill to fund the government through Dec. 11 overcame a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Monday, just days before the deadline to avoid a shutdown.

Senators voted 77-19 to end debate on the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government. The move paves the way for final passage before the Oct. 1 deadline.

Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake voted against Cloture on H.R. 719. So they are for shutting down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood. Contact their offices and give them a piece of your mind.

Nineteen Republican senators—including Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.)—voted against moving forward, citing concerns about funding for Planned Parenthood and the overall spending levels it contains.

The “Filibuster Twins” decided not to attempt a speaking filibuster after promising the religious zealots at the Values Voters Summit this past weekend that defunding Planned Parenthood  is a priority for them. The Christian Right got played again.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said that while he supports funding the government “we can no longer ignore the coming fiscal crisis or President Obama’s continued executive overreach.”

“Therefore, I will not support continuing resolutions or debt limit increases unless the Senate takes meaningful action to address these challenges,” he said.

Sounds like Danny wandered off the reservation and forgot his Planned Parenthood talking points.

The outcome of Monday’s vote was widely expected after nearly every Democrat and eight Republicans blocked the Senate last week from moving forward with a short-term bill that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Conservatives have fought to cut off federal funding for the organization by using the spending bill as leverage.

But that push has divided Senate Republicans, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who is running for reelection in a blue-leaning state, slamming her colleagues for pushing the measure during a fiery floor speech late last week.

Meanwhile Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appealed to his Republican colleagues ahead of Monday’s vote, reminding them that if they don’t back the bill the government would likely shut down as of Thursday.

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The White House also announced its support for the short-term bill ahead of Monday’s vote saying that it gives lawmakers a “short-term bridge” to pass a longer budget. [in December]

“The administration looks forward to working with the Congress on FY 2016 appropriations legislation for the full year that reverses sequestration, preserves funding for critical national priorities, protects national security, and makes investments to maintain economic growth and job creation for years to come,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

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With a short-term spending bill expected to pass the Senate and then the House, Democrats are renewing their push to get Republicans to negotiate a longer bill that would roll back congressionally mandated budget caps on defense and non-defense spending.

“It’s time for those bipartisan budget negotiations. It’s beyond time. Now is the time for Congress to act responsibly,” Durbin said.

The Senate must still vote for final approval before sending the bill to the House, where we will find out what kind of mojo, if any, Weeper of the House John Boehner still has left after having announced last week that he is resigning at the end of October.

As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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