McConnell unveils new funding bill to avert government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday filed a short-term spending bill that would fund the government and Planned Parenthood, ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a shutdown.

The move comes after Democrats and some Republicans rejected a short-term spending bill that would have funded the government through Dec. 11. That bill would have stripped federal funding for Planned Parenthood and redirected it to community health centers.

{mosads}Asked about McConnell’s procedural moves on the Senate floor, a spokesperson for the Republican leader said, “It’s the same as the CR amendment we just voted on with one change: It does not redirect Planned Parenthood funding.”

McConnell hasn’t yet filed cloture on the spending bill, which is being offered as an amendment to a House-passed shell bill. That move would tee up a procedural vote on the continuing resolution (CR).

The Senate, however, appears poised to avoid a rare weekend session.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told reporters earlier Thursday that he was “pretty sure” that the Senate wouldn’t be in session on Saturday or Sunday.

“We find ourselves with unneeded and unnecessary drama when it comes to funding the federal government,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, referring to Democrats’ filibuster of spending bills. “Hence the vote on Monday on closing off debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11, 2015.”

Senate Democrats are saying the next vote on the spending bill isn’t expected until Monday at 5:30 p.m.

But McConnell’s spokesperson said that the Republican leader “hasn’t announced the timing of the next vote yet.”

— This story was updated at 4:29 p.m.

Tags John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Orrin Hatch

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