UPDATE: Government averts shutdown as House passes two-month spending bill by a 277-151 vote, according to Politico.
At midnight tonight, the government is expected to run out of money. Yet, it seems we have dodged a bullet as the House and Senate are expected to pass a funding measure that will keep the government open until December (via AP):
A temporary funding measure aiming to keep the government open past a midnight deadline sailed through the Senate on Wednesday and was expected to make its way shortly through a divided House and on to President Barack Obama.
The 78-20 Senate tally represented a vote of confidence for an approach engineered by top GOP leaders determined to avoid a government shutdown.
That approach, favored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, has angered tea party lawmakers who wanted to use the must-pass measure to punish Planned Parenthood for its practices involving the supply of tissue from aborted fetuses for scientific research.
The House was slated to approve the measure Wednesday afternoon, with GOP leaders counting on Democratic votes to balance opposition from tea party supporters of "defunding" Planned Parenthood.
The bill would prevent a repeat of the partial federal shutdown of two years ago and finance the government through Dec. 11, which will provide 10 weeks of time to negotiate a more wide-ranging budget deal for the rest of fiscal 2016, which ends on Sept. 30, 2016.
Roll Call reported that McConnell is already looking toward the various appropriation bills Democrats have stacked up in the Senate, and whether or not he should filibuster them.
Now that the CR appears on track, we can turn back to the last step in the Senate’s normal appropriations process: getting the funding bills passed on the floor,” McConnell said. “Democrats have blocked them all year as part of some arbitrary strategy to force our nation to the brink. They certainly succeeded in that, but I think the American people are ready for our colleagues to finally get serious and get back to work.”
Nevertheless, the anger from the conservative wing of the GOP over the Planned Parenthood aspect of this spending debate was as expected, though they probably know deep down this tactic has no shot of passing Obama’s desk. Moreover, the president has the votes to sustain a veto if a spending measure that defunded the largest abortion provider in the country were to pass. This wasn’t a serious option. It may have made us feel better, but in the end; Obama probably would have had the winning hand. The best way to move forward on curtailing Planned Parenthood’s access to funds is electing a pro-life president in 2016.