Senate inches toward completing votes on spending resolution

Some Republicans opposed the resolution because they wanted to fund the government for longer than six months. The only Democrat to oppose the resolution, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), said he didn’t want to keep kicking the can down the road.

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“These continuing resolutions are suppose to be temporary, but it looks like they’ve become a permanent way of doing business,” Manchin said on the floor Thursday. “And it’s a bad way of doing business.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Wednesday that she’d vote against the resolution because she would prefer to see the appropriations bill get votes, rather than the spending resolution.

“Rather than consider these appropriations bills, they’d rather kick the can down the road and pass a six-month extension,” Collins said. “It’s still not too late; there’s no reason why the individual spending bills couldn’t be brought to the floor and allow senators to offer amendments.”

The resolution puts the government on pace to spend $1.047 trillion in discretionary spending in 2013, the same level agreed to in last year's Budget Control Act.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is filibustering the Senate, which requires that the maximum amount of time be spent on each vote, holding up legislation such as the spending resolution, until he gets a vote on his own bill.

Paul wants a Senate vote on his bill to end all foreign aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt. On Wednesday night, Reid announced that he and Paul came to an agreement to have a vote on Paul’s bill if he stopped holding up the continuing spending resolution, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) then objected to the idea because he disapproves of Paul’s bill.

Reid said he’s still hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that the Senate can finish up its business Thursday evening and adjourn until after the elections. If not, weekend votes would be required.