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Shutdown Averted: House Passes Funding Bill Despite Majority of GOP ‘No’ Votes

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The House passed a short term spending bill Wednesday to keep the government’s lights on through at least early December.

The legislation passed on a bipartisan vote carried by Democrats, 277 to 151.

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The continuing resolution keeps the government open at current funding levels through December 11, providing lawmakers more time to negotiate a final budget deal. Additionally, over the protestations of many conservative Republicans, the legislation funds Planned Parenthood.

The Senate easily approved the interim funding measure earlier Wednesday on a vote of 78-20.

While Congress has funded the government at least through December, the the funding of Planned Parenthood has angered conservative Republicans who argue GOP leadership has not fought hard enough for their values.

Indeed, the measure passed with a majority of Democratic votes — 186 Democrats voted in favor of the spending bill and 151 Republicans voted against it. Ninety-one Republicans voted for the short-term funding measure. President Obama is expected to sign it today, before funding expires at midnight.

House Leadership had more leeway to proceed without defunding Planned Parenthood and depend on Democratic votes to get the bill over the finish line following House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) 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 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said 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.

In conjunction with the continuing resolution Wednesday afternoon, the House also passed a separate bill to defund Planned Parenthood. It was not attached to the funding bill and is therefore unlikely to go much further in the legislative process.


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