Cruz internet, other policy fights hold up government-funding deal

Cruz internet, other policy fights hold up government-funding deal
© Greg Nash

The Senate has delayed an initial vote on a government-funding bill, in part because of demands from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK MORE (R-Texas) to add language preventing the Obama administration from relinquishing a U.S. role in overseeing the internet.

The vote was scheduled for Monday evening, but senators agreed by unanimous consent to delay the vote until Tuesday at 2:15 p.m.

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It’s the second time the Senate has delayed the vote, which was originally scheduled for last week.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference MORE (D-Fla.) told reporters Monday that while an agreement hadn't been locked down, Republicans had agreed to language that would fund efforts to fight the Zika virus without preventing money from being used by clinics in Puerto Rico operated by Planned Parenthood.

Nelson said under the tentative deal, the $1.1 billion for Zika would be partially offset in exchange for allowing Planned Parenthood clinics to have access to a block grant. 

“They've eliminated the political riders,” Nelson said. “The hold up now is Ted Cruz and this ICANN thing.”

ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The administration at the end of this month wants to cease its oversight of web site addresses and give that role to ICANN. Cruz argues this would hand over U.S. control of the internet to an international body.

Still, Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntOvernight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites Hillicon Valley: Justice Department appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | New report on election security | FBI agent testifies in marathon hearing MORE (R-Mo.) said talk that the Zika fight had been decided was "premature."

"We're trying to work this out," he said. "It's just, none of it's going to be done until it's all done."

Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick The dishonesty of the deep state MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash McConnell: Russians are not our friends Russians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit MORE (Texas), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, stressed that a myriad of policy fights still needed to be worked out and that nothing is finalized. 

The delay comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment MORE (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of holding up the measure.

“Senate Republicans stand ready to move forward with this important agreement now,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. “I would encourage our colleagues across the aisle to work with us to complete the negotiations so we can advance this important measure."

Senators have been negotiating for weeks over how to fund the government and avoid a shutdown ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

While one Senate Democratic aide said the chances of getting an official announcement on Monday was “50/50 at best,” a Senate Republican aide was even more pessimistic about its chances.

“There’s still some fleeting hope, but there’s just no time. We’ve been told to plan on being here next week,” the aide said.

The Senate's spending bill is expected to fund the government through Dec. 9, potentially allowing members to leave Washington this week until after the general elections.

- This story was updated at 5:43 p.m.