The Senate voted overwhelming on cloture (decision to limit further debate to 30 hours) on the motion to proceed for the “shell” of a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 9th.
The vote was an overwhelming 89-7, easily surpassing the required 60-vote threshold to avoid filibuster. While the bill could still meet opposition later on, this move suggests at last the contours of a short-term spending agreement.
As with all CR actions, businesses with federal contracts should make the extra effort to assure their federal customer understands any special circumstances associated with he contract’s funding mechanisms.
Some of the most prominent issues at stake in the bill are transportation, campaign finance and Internet domain rights. The majority of discussion and debate, however, has centered on the bill’s provision for Zika funding (around $1.1 billion). The bill moved through after Senators removed language that would block Planned Parenthood’s partner clinic in Puerto Rico from accessing federal grants, considered a win for Democrats. It is looking more and more likely that the bill will not include relief funding for the contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan or for the flooding in Louisiana. Expect debates on these riders to continue this week, and potentially be revisited during the post-election lame duck session.
Also, late yesterday, Leader McConnell signaled to expect a Senate vote to override a threatened presidential veto on recently passed legislation allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The President has until Friday to veto the bill. An override vote would take place next week.