The Senate rejected a short-term funding bill for the government backed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (R-Ky.) after 13 Republicans joined nearly the entire Democratic caucus in voting no.

The 45-55 vote leaves Congress facing an uncertain path to prevent a government shutdown. Without a new funding law in place, the government would shut down on Saturday. 

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Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (W.Va.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEx-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight 2020 party politics in Puerto Rico MORE (Fla.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ White House pleads with Senate GOP on emergency declaration MORE (Mont.) were the only Democrats to support the continuing resolution (CR). Other Democrats objected that the package keeping the government operating through Dec. 9 included no money for Flint, Michigan.

The dozen Republicans who voted against the measure did so for a variety of reasons. They were joined by McConnell, who voted no to preserve his ability to offer the measure again.

 

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Democrats are digging in on their demand that funding for Flint be included in the spending bill, which already includes emergency help for flood victims in Louisiana, Maryland and West Virginia.

Democrats, while stressing they don't oppose the flood aid, argue any short-term funding bill shouldn't include the flood money unless it also helps Flint.

McConnell didn't shut the door to dropping the flood money from the stopgap bill, saying, "that's certainly an option." 

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (D-Ill.) shot down a question about whether Democrats would be satisfied with a promise from McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan joins board of Fox Corporation Bottom Line Paul Ryan says Trump will win reelection because of 'record of accomplishment' MORE (R-Wis.) to pass the Flint aid in a lame-duck session after the election.

"No, if he wants to make that promise to Flint make him make the same promise to Louisiana," Durbin said. 

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Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left Cornyn shrugs off Trump criticism of 'SNL' MORE (R-Texas) didn't close the door to the Louisiana aid being moved to the water bill.

“It’s important to a number of states, including my state,” the Texas Republican said. "That’s what the bill has in it now, and we’ll see how the Democrats vote.”  

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), noting he was opposed to removing the flood money, said he was aware of the Democratic objections. 

"Why do you feel you have to punish people in Louisiana ... for Flint when there's a pathway forward on Flint through the WRDA bill?" he said.

The stalemate over Flint comes after the Senate version of WRDA passed earlier this month included $220 million to address water infrastructure improvements in Flint. 

But the House measure does not have Flint aid provisions, meaning the two chambers would have to resolve the issue in conference committee negotiations after the election.  

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list Climate debate comes full circle MORE (D-Calif.) hinted that Democrats could accept a written agreement on Flint aid from Republican leadership.  

“We need more than just vague promises,” Boxer told reporters. “They can commit to us in writing that they can absolutely agree to our provisions. We don’t have any of that.”  

But Democrats appeared split on what would need to be in such a deal. 

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), while noting the CR isn't the only vehicle for the Flint aid, also set a high bar for an agreement: the president's signature.  

"The writing would be the president signing the bill," he told reporters. 

The White House on Tuesday backed up Democratic demands for the Flint funding to be added to the bill. 

“The president has made clear for moths that Congress needs to act to provide resources to the community of Flint,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

Earnest noted the emergency funding in the Senate CR for Louisiana, Maryland and other states recovering from flooding. 

“The president believes Congress should do the same thing for Flint and other communities dealing with those challenges.” 

This story was updated at 5:58 p.m.