Senate advances bill to prevent shutdown

A 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.

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Nineteen Republican senators — including presidential candidates Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' Cruz announces bill to end separation of immigrant families The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Furor grows over child separation policy MORE (Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate passes 6B defense bill This week: House GOP caught in immigration limbo Amendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP MORE (Ky.) — voted against moving forward, citing concerns about funding for Planned Parenthood and the overall spending levels it contains.

Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsGOP senator places hold on Trump counterintelligence nominee Civil liberties groups press Trump administration on NSA call record collection Trump’s ‘Syraqistan’ strategy is a success — and a failure MORE (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.

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 AyotteKelly Ann AyotteErnst, Fischer to square off for leadership post The Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP Audit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars MORE (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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 6B defense bill Poll: Kim Jong Un has higher approval among Republicans than Pelosi The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix MORE (R-Ky.) appealed to his Republican colleagues ahead of Monday’s vote, reminding them that if they don’t back the bill, then the government would likely shut down as of Thursday.

"It doesn't represent my first, second, third or 23rd choice when it comes to funding the government," he said from the Senate floor. "But, it will keep the government open through the fall and funded at the bipartisan level already agreed to by both parties as we work on the way forward."

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. 
 
"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. 

With only days before the deadline, McConnell and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) traded blame Monday for the failure to act well ahead of the deadline.

McConnell said Democrats are trying to force “unnecessary crises” by blocking the Senate from taking up spending bills; Reid said the scramble to pass legislation is “another Republican-manufactured showdown."

An attempt by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHarvard biz school honors Wilbur Ross GOP senators blast White House aide over trade remarks Community development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform MORE to offer an amendment was blocked by his Republican colleagues. The Ohio Republican wanted to include an amendment that would create automatic short-term funding bills based on the previous years spending levels if Congress didn't pass legislation by the Oct. 1 deadline. 
 
Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTodd Young in talks about chairing Senate GOP campaign arm US farming cannot afford to continue to fall behind Mississippi Democrat drops Senate bid MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said that Portman's amendment would say that "not only is the power of the Senate suspended and put on hold, but the obligations of the committee system are put under threat." 
 

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.