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No Shutdown: Senate Sends Bill Keeping Gov’t Open To House

Lawmakers are heading off a potential government shutdown.

The Senate passed a temporary spending measure Wednesday, sending the bill over to the House for final passage before government funding expires at midnight.

The continuing resolution funds government through December 11, and will allow congressional negotiators more time to agree on a budget deal. It does not defund Planned Parenthood, as many Republicans desired.

Passage of the short-term funding measure in the Senate was expected after it survived a procedural motion Monday. Wednesday’s vote, which needed a simple majority, was 78-20.

While Congress is on track to keep government open for now, the funding of Planned Parenthood has angered conservative Republicans including presidential contender Ted Cruz (R-TX), who slammed his colleagues in a floor speech following Monday’s cloture vote.

“I will give President Obama and the Senate Democrats credit. They believe in principles of big government. They believe in this relentless assault on our constitutional rights, and they are willing to crawl over broken glass with a knife between their teeth to fight for those principles,” Cruz said. “Unfortunately, leadership on my side of the aisle does not demonstrate the same commitment to principles.”

The measure now goes to the House, where Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has more flexibility to move the bill with Democratic support following his announcement last week that he will be stepping down from his post and Congress later this year.

Moving the funding deadline forward a couple months sets up another funding battle in December.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed optimism that the short-term measure would pass in the House and noted that Republican leadership will be negotiating with Obama to settle budget differences

“We’d like to settle a top-line for both [2016 and 2017] so that next year we can have a regular appropriations process. The President and Speaker Boehner about getting started in the discussions last week and I would expect them to start very soon,” he said.

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