The following is an excerpt from Andrew Taylor | September 24, 2015 | Yahoo.com |
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican moved swiftly to avoid a government shutdown in six days, pushing legislation that would keep agencies operating without a contentious fight over money for Planned Parenthood.
The action of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., followed a decisive Senate vote blocking a bill that would have stripped Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer funding while keeping the government running through Dec. 11.
The vote was 47-52, falling short of a majority and well shy of the 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster led by Democrats. Eight Republicans, several of whom support abortion rights, voted with 42 Democrats and two independents to kill the measure.
McConnell immediately offered a bipartisan stopgap spending bill free of the Planned Parenthood dispute that's expected to easily clear the Senate next week by a wide bipartisan margin. He has for almost a year promised that Republicans controlling Congress won't repeat the government shutdown of two years ago.
In the House, GOP leaders called a meeting of their fractious rank and file for Friday morning to discuss whether to accept the Senate's move or reject it at the risk that continuing the fight over Planned Parenthood would lead to a government shutdown.
The White House signaled President Barack Obama would sign the measure, called a continuing resolution, into law — if the House steps aside from the fight tea party Republicans want over "defunding" Planned Parenthood.
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