(Reuters) – The Senate passed a five-day extension of federal funding on Saturday, staving off a government shutdown and buying lawmakers more time to resolve a fight over a longer, $1.1 trillion spending bill led by Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz.
It was the second time in a little over a year that Cruz, the Texas Republican freshman with presidential aspirations, has attempted to stop a key Obama administration initiative by denying government funds. In this case, Cruz was targeting Obama’s executive order that offered millions of undocumented immigrants relief from the threat of deportation.
Cruz was a central figure in a 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, when he persuaded Republicans to try to withhold funds from Obamacare, President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform law.
In the end, Cruz got none of what he wanted and Republicans were left with little but voter anger.
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