Spending bill's prospects brighten
WASHINGTON — In a break with Tea Party-aligned Senate conservatives, Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced on Monday he will not vote to block legislation aimed at preventing a partial government shutdown, even though Democrats intend to rewrite it to restore money needed to keep the nation's three-year-old health care law in existence.
Referring to a bill the House passed last week, McConnell's spokesman said the Kentucky lawmaker supports the measure “and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny.”
The spokesman, Don Stewart, added that McConnell will vote against any Democratic attempt to restore funding for the health care law.
The announcement occurred shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that anyone who votes to let the bill advance toward final passage will be choosing to allow the Democrats to restore the health care money by majority vote, one they will almost certainly win.
With his announcement, McConnell put himself firmly in the camp of Republicans who are adamantly opposed to any partial government shutdown, no matter the other stakes.
A short time later, Sen. John Cornyn, like Cruz a Texan, and second ranking in the leadership, announced he would not seek to block the legislation. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the same position.
Democrats control 54 Senate votes, meaning they need six crossover Republicans to assure the spending bill does not fall victim to a filibuster that would doom its prospects. The announcements by McConnell and McCain likely indicate they will have no difficulty in gaining the support they need.
Cruz said last week he was prepared to filibuster any legislation that restores money for the health care law, even if it meant a shutdown. In remarks on the Senate floor, though, he appeared to soften his tone.
“We should not have a government shutdown, and we should never, ever, ever even discuss a default on the debt,” he said.
The House is expected to approve legislation this week that permits the Treasury to borrow freely for a year while delaying the health care law for a year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Gas pipeline explosion probed at California gun range
- Only 3 wolves left at national park on Lake Superior; moose population would skyrocket
- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago dead at 78
- Keystone pipeline project gains favor among nearby liberals, study shows
- Ohio woman finds mother, sister — at work
- Dementia patients’ rights considered
- ‘Dr. Oz’ to counter criticisms on air
- FBI unit supplied flawed forensics
- Public access to police body cam videos assailed
- New York City rent increases oust small retailers