On Monday afternoon, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked for unanimous consent to immediately consider the House Continuing Resolution to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. The legislation would also take steps to avoid a default on government debt while Congress debates a raising of the debt ceiling. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid was on hand to block the request.
After Reid’s block, Cruz noted in remarks that the move keeps open the possibility of a government shutdown next week and a default on the national debt later in October. “He is willing to risk a government shutdown,” Cruz said about Reid. “He is willing to force a government shutdown,” to continue funding ObamaCare.
Cruz noted that if the Senate passed the House CR all the talk about a shutdown or government default “would just go away. Those count-down clocks that are showing up on TV, would disappear.”
Reid’s move means the Senate will now proceed to a vote to begin consideration of the House CR. It will then take a second cloture vote that, if successful, would allow the House CR to be amended by a simple majority. In the Senate’s regular order, amendments are subject to a 60-vote threshold.
Cruz also asked Monday for unanimous consent that amendments to the CR would still require 60 votes. Reid blocked that request as well.
These were just the opening moves in a debate that will consume the Senate, and America, this week.