Senate Avoids Government Shutdown

A heavy filter over a picture of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Image: Shutterstock

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown—which would have been the second one in recent memory. The upper chamber of Congress passed a short-term spending plan that will keep the government funded only until December 11th of this year. The bill does include funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization which has garnered some controversy lately.

The bill will give negotiators and the president 10 more weeks to work out a deal ready for more long-term commitments and ramifications. The House will need to approve the measure in time for President Obama’s signature by midnight tonight. The bill passed by a 78-20 vote.

Conservatives are still trying to add a line to the bill which would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding after an incorrect news story hit the media, alleging that Planned Parenthood sold material from aborted fetuses. Many conservatives are refusing to give up the fight to defund the organization, including presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

MSNBC suggests that the bill passed more easily than it would have before John Boehner, current Speaker of the House, announced that he would be stepping down from the position. Boehner had been under intense pressure from party members who threatened to kick him out of Congress if he presented any bill that did not include provisions to defund Planned Parenthood.

Now that the threat of being booted from Congress is behind him, Boehner is expected to push the bill through to the White House.

A 172-member Republican Study Committee’s proposed amendment to the bill would also prevent the president from lifting anti-nuclear sanctions on Iran.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently announced that he would run for Speaker of the House, and he is expected to vote against the measure, though some staunch conservatives said that they would still regard McCarthy as a partner with Boehner in the compromise with the White House.

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