Government is funded while Senate considers spending bill
WASHINGTON - As the Senate prepares to act on a $1.1 trillion spending bill, there's no threat of a shutdown in federal services. That's because lawmakers quickly passed a measure providing a 48-hour extension in existing funding, to give the Senate time to act. President Barack Obama quickly signed it.
The Senate vote might not come until the weekend, although Democratic leader Harry Reid is pushing for a vote this afternoon.
Senate action won't come quietly. Some Democrats are angry that the measure weakens rules on the financial industry and allows wealthy donors to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into political parties.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is incensed that the measure doesn't block the president's plan to deport fewer immigrants.
Reid is urging senators to overcome their objections and get the bill passed today to ensure that nearly all the government can stay open through September.
In the House, where the bill passed late yesterday, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she was "enormously disappointed" that Obama had decided to embrace a measure that Pelosi had described as an attempt at blackmail by Republicans.