Senate Passes Budget Bill, Setting Up Weekend Showdown
(WASHINGTON) — The Senate approved a continuing resolution which includes funding for Obamacare Friday afternoon, defeating an attempt by conservative senators to block the bill with just over three days left to avert a government shutdown.
In their last effort to delay the bill, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and 18 Republicans voted against ending debate on the continuing resolution, but they were overtaken by far more Republicans and all Democrats who voted in favor of moving forward. The final vote on cloture tallied at 79-19.
Shortly after the cloture vote, the Senate approved the stop-gap spending measure, which included an amendment to strip funding for Obamacare and creates a Nov. 15 expiration deadline for the CR, with a vote of 54 to 44.
With the clock ticking toward a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on Monday, the Senate was eager to toss a budget bill that has become a hot potato back to the House.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said the GOP is “infected by a small and destructive faction” urged the House of Representatives to pass a so-called “clean CR” to keep the government running.
“Pass a clean bill to avert a shutdown. Defy the anarchists, respect the law, and help the Senate govern,” Reid said.
But Cruz, who delivered a 21-hour speech against Obamacare earlier this week, pressed House Republicans to stand firm and called on his colleagues in the Senate to unite in opposition to Obamacare the next time the vote reaches the Senate floor.
“The Senate, after the House stands their ground yet again, we will have an opportunity for Republicans to come home, for Republicans to stand together,” Cruz said. “I very much hope the next time this issue is before this body in a few days, that all 46 Republicans are united against Obamacare and standing with the American people.”
The votes capped off a theatrical week in the Senate where tension within the GOP boiled over as some Republicans took issue with Cruz’s delay of a vote.
“It’s not the Republican side that’s asking to stall. We only have two Republican senators that are wanting to push this off,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Thursday.
The continuing resolution will now return to the House of Representatives where leaders will have to hammer out a plan over the weekend. The House is meeting Saturday to determine how to proceed. Votes aren’t expected until Sunday, aides told ABC News.
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