Collins proposes way forward to fund the government

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) suggested Saturday that House Republicans try to pass a continuing resolution with an amendment to repeal the medical device tax.

Collins said that House members should introduce legislation that would reopen the government, repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax under ObamaCare and give federal agencies flexibility with sequestration cuts. Most spending measures have to originate in the House.


Senate recognizes national chess week as it prepares for weekend work

The Senate passed several resolutions before adjourning for the evening. It will return to work on how to reopen the government Saturday at noon.

Lawmakers are still at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government, which has been shut down since midnight Tuesday.


Senate Democrat notes ‘hypocrisy’ in Capitol Police buttons

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said Friday that it seems hypocritical for lawmakers to wear buttons honoring the sacrifices made by U.S. Capitol Police, considering they’re not being paid during the government shutdown.

“Today we’re wearing these buttons to support [Capitol Police], and I notice the hypocrisy of that,” Heitkamp said on the Senate floor. “Let’s not just pass out buttons; let’s pass out paychecks.”


GOP senator: Shutdown negotiations are a ‘Clint Eastwood moment’

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) invoked a moment Clint Eastwood most likely wants to forget, comparing Republican’s current situations in government shutdown negotiations to the actor’s failed RNC speech.

Eastwood delivered an odd speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention, where he spoke to an empty chair as if President Obama was sitting in it. The speech was not well received, despite the excitement of Republicans to have the actor at their convention.


Senate Democrat: GOP action is ‘extortion’ not compromise

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said Friday that Republicans are trying to extort their demands from Democrats rather than compromising on a continuing resolution (CR) to reopen the government.

“They’ve taken the government hostage,” Heinrich said. “It’s not compromise; it’s extortion.”


Senate Democrats block Cruz's attempt to pass House funding measures

Senate Democrats objected to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) attempts to pass several small funding measures from the House.

“I understand the anxieties you feel about the problems you’ve created,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said to Cruz on Friday. “But funding things one thing at a time is not the way to go forward.”


Senate hearing focuses on federal workers furloughed during shutdown

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on the effects a government shutdown has on federal workers.

Thousands of federal workers have been furloughed because of the government shutdown that went into effect at midnight Monday. Most federal workers do not receive back pay unless Congress passes a law to enable it.


McCain: ‘Bizarre’ that US touts agreement with Syria while ‘slaughter’ continues

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he thought it was “bizarre” that the administration has heralded the “cooperation” of Syrian President Bashar Assad while his people are still being slaughtered.

“It’s a little bizarre that we are hailing this ‘cooperation’ from Bashar Assad on chemical weapons, and yet the slaughter goes on,” McCain said on the Senate floor Thursday.


Senate Chaplain berates lawmakers for ‘smugness’

Senate Chaplain Barry Black scolded lawmakers Thursday in his morning sermon, saying they should come together to fund the government.

“Have mercy upon us, oh God, and save us from the madness,” Black said as the Senate began the day. “We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride.”