Senate passes stop-gap spending measure, funds ObamaCare

 David Freddoso via Twitter (@Freddoso)

The United States Senate approved a cloture motion cloture to end debate on the Continuing Resolution, allowing Majority Leader Harry Reid to offer an amendment to strike the language that would defund ObamaCare from the measure.

In a 79 to 19 vote, the Senate ended debate on the Continuing Resolution (CR), with 25 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats (including two Independents who caucus with the majority) in advancing the measure. Just 19 Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), voted against the cloture motion.

A conservative news outlet reported on Thursday that as many as 30 Senate Republicans would vote with Cruz, who spoke for over 21 hours early this week against ObamaCare. Some observed that Senate Republicans were waiting for Reid to get 60 votes before they voted with Cruz.

Shortly after ending debate, a motion to wave points of order concerning the budget passed by a vote of 68 to 30. This was necessary because the CR violated the spending limits set in the Budget Control Act of 2011, appropriating roughly $20 billion more than the law allows.

Reid’s amendment to strike the House-approved language to defund ObamaCare and debt prioritization mandates for the Treasury Department passed by a 54 to 44 vote, right on party lines. Moments later, the Senate passed their version of the stop-gap spending measure, including funding for ObamaCare, by a vote of 54 to 44.

The Continuing Resolution now heads back to the House, where Republicans are weighing their options as they try to pass a measure that they can live with while also avoiding a government shutdown. The current fiscal year expires on September 30.

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