McConnell pressures Senate to back spending bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcGrath reshuffles campaign in home stretch to Senate election GOP senator draws fire from all sides on Biden, Obama-era probes Chris Wallace rips both parties for coronavirus package impasse: 'Pox on both their houses' MORE (R-Ky.) urged his colleagues Monday to support a short-term spending bill that funds Planned Parenthood ahead of a key procedural hurdle.  

"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 Republican leader's remarks come as the Senate will take a procedural vote Monday evening on whether forward with the short-term spending bill that would fund the government through Dec. 11. He'll need 60 votes to overcome the hurdle, with the Senate expected to vote on final passage on Tuesday or Wednesday. 
Congress has until the end of Wednesday to pass legislation to avoid a government shutdown, something Republican leadership has pledged would not happen. 
McConnell placed the blame for the tight timeline to pass a bill squarely on Democrats, saying they've forced an "unnecessary crises." 
"Had Democrats not prevented the Senate from passing the same appropriations bills they voted for and praised, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now," he added. 
Democrats twice blocked the Senate from moving forward with a defense spending bill. 
"I would be remiss if I didn't remind everyone that this last-minute scramble to do our most basic job is as unnecessary as it reckless," he added. "We're two days away from a shutdown, only two days, and why? Because Republicans made it their number one priority to undermine women's health." 
The fight over linking defunding Planned Parenthood to the spending bill divided Senate Republicans. Eight Republicans senators, and nearly every Democrat, voted against moving forward with a short-term bill that would have stripped federal funding for the organization during a procedural vote late last week.