The Senate on Thursday rejected a short-term spending bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, thwarting the opening move by Republican leaders to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
Senators voted 47-52 on ending debate on the short-term continuing resolution, well short of the 60 votes needed. The legislation would have funded the government through Dec. 11.
Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions Senators rally for coal miner pension fix MORE (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote in favor.
After the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate passes Puerto Rico debt relief bill MORE (R-Ky.) filed a new short-term spending bill that would fund the government and Planned Parenthood.
"I regret the Democratic leadership determined a crisis would be necessary to advance a policy aim of growing the government and that our colleagues decided accordingly to block every single funding bill," McConnell said. "We've been forced to pursue a continuing resolution as a result."
The majority leader could file cloture on the new funding bill in the afternoon. That could set the stage for a final vote early next week.
One senator who could drag out the process is Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office Kasich touts poll showing he does better against Clinton than Trump Two transgender candidates win primaries MORE.
The Texas Republican, who is running for president, has slammed Republican leadership during the funding fight, telling reporters that they “will support 100 percent of the priorities of Democrats.”
Cruz could try to force weekend work by objecting to a request to adjourn on Friday, but he could be rebuffed by a majority vote.
The presidential hopeful has reasons of his own to avoid weekend work, as he is currently scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Saturday.
Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchTreasury officials to meet with lawmakers on inversion rules A bipartisan bright spot we can’t afford to pass up: child welfare reform Medicare trust fund running out of money fast MORE (R-Utah), questioned as to whether the Senate would work this weekend, said "no." Asked if he was sure, he replied, "yeah, I'm pretty sure."
The White House, meanwhile, reiterated its pledge to veto any spending bill that reaches President Obama's desk without funding for Planned Parenthood.
“By eliminating Federal funding for a major provider of health care, the Senate amendment to H.J.Res. 61 would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the Nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
Senate Democrats, and even some Republicans, slammed Thursday’s vote, suggesting it was a waste of time with less than a week left before government funding expires and federal workers are furloughed — something that last happened in 2013.
Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate passes Puerto Rico debt relief bill MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday’s vote was the latest in a line of Republican “publicity stunts.”
“Instead of voting today on a bipartisan way forward, we’ll have another failed vote,” he said. “Republicans should abandon their commitment to fruitless votes and pass a clean funding bill.”
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said Thursday's vote "should send the message loud and clear to the House of Representatives that Americans overwhelmingly support the care that Planned Parenthood provides."
The new funding bill is expected to have the votes to pass the Senate, though Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is also running for president, have pledged to vote against it.
But it remains to be seen whether the spending bill can pass the House.
Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerEXCLUSIVE: Pro-Hillary group takes 0K in banned donations Ryan: Benghazi report shows administration's failures Clinton can't escape Benghazi responsibility MORE (R-Ohio) is under intense pressure from conservative lawmakers to stand firm on defunding Planned Parenthood.
More than 30 House conservatives have pledged to vote against any funding bill that includes Planned Parenthood, spurred by a series of controversial undercover videos dealing with the organization’s handling of fetal tissue.
With chatter of a potential coup against the Speaker growing, BoehnerJohn BoehnerEXCLUSIVE: Pro-Hillary group takes 0K in banned donations Ryan: Benghazi report shows administration's failures Clinton can't escape Benghazi responsibility MORE is treading carefully.
He has yet to say whether he will schedule a vote on a bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood, though a decision could be announced when House Republicans gather Friday morning for a conference meeting.
Boehner would likely need Democratic votes to pass such a bill, given the expected defections on the Republican side.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico McConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill MORE (R-Texas) predicted that the Senate would “quickly” send something to the House, where lawmakers will “have to figure out what they can do.”
"The House has got their own process right now, and I think they're kind of waiting to see what we do," added Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneFacebook offers set of 'Values' to reassure users of neutrality Overnight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Congress prepping short-term FAA bill MORE (R-S.D.).
This story was updated at 3:46 p.m.