As shutdown nears, Senate moves toward budget vote

 Washington – Every single member of the U.S. Senate, including Connecticut’s senators, voted Thursday to move forward on a budget bill that would avoid a government shutdown, but also defund the Affordable Care Act.

The 100-0 vote allows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a vote to end debate on the bill and a final vote  on a continuing resolution approved by the House  that would fund the federal government until Dec. 15. Funding for the federal government runs out at midnight on Monday. Unless Congress appropriates more money, the  federal government will shut down.

Reid plans to strip out the budget bill’s provision that would defund Obamacare when he schedules a final vote on the continuing resolution Friday or Saturday and send that bill back to the House.

During a 21-hour filibuster, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argued that senators should block a final vote on the bill because it’s likely to lack the provision that would defund the ACA.

But fellow Senate Republicans are rejecting Cruz’s message because they don’t want to be seen as responsible for a government shutdown.

The real question is what the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, which  insisted on the defunding provision, will do. If the House does not accept the Senate bill, the federal government will be shuttered Tuesday, except for services that protect life and property.