Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) tried to speed up the voting process on a continued spending resolution Thursday, but Republicans objected.
"This is an effort to stall, and I don’t know why," Reid said. "It is absolutely unfortunate because, I repeat, every minute that goes by is a minute closer to a government shutdown."
Reid asked for unanimous consent to hold votes starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, but Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeGOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill How 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation Overnight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease MORE (R-Utah) objected. Every senator has to agree in order to accelerate votes.
A procedural vote to end debate on H.J.Res. 59 — the House spending measure that funds the government through mid-December but defunds ObamaCare — is scheduled for Friday morning.
The government will shut down Oct. 1 if Congress doesn't approve some form of government-funding measure.
Sens. Lee and Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Texas) have said they oppose moving forward with the legislation because Reid has introduced an amendment that would restore the funding for ObamaCare.
Reid's amendment would also reduce the time the measure funds the government by a month to keep the pressure on Congress to act. The amendment also removes House language that prioritizes federal spending in the event of the government defaulting later this fall.
Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick Rand Paul roils the Senate with NATO blockade MORE (R-Tenn.) spoke out in opposition to Lee and Cruz's objection, saying he wanted to make sure people knew it wasn't the whole Republican Party holding up the vote, just those two senators.
"It's not the entire Republican side," Corker said. "I know all Republicans other than two would actually like to give the House the opportunity to respond in an appropriate way."
The Senate is expected to send the funding bill back to the House this weekend. The House would then have to accept the Senate changes or risk a government shutdown as time runs out.
Reid said he wanted to speed things up because Republican House leaders have made it clear that they will amend the Senate-version and send it back to the upper chamber.