Deal Reached To Avert Shutdown

In a rare Saturday session Congress finally did it.

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion government funding bill (a.k.a. the CRomnibus) late Saturday night in a vote of 56-40.

The bill now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk where he’s expected to sign it.

The bill’s passage means that government will stay funded through September of 2015.

The entire episode of averting a funding bill came with drama right up until the end thanks to Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) who tried to use procedural maneuvers on Friday to stop other senators from voting on the spending bill in order to fight President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration (which resulted in the ire of Republican senators and a little glee for Democrats).

But earlier in the week Democrats also had their own resistance to the bill as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made a serious push to remove a provision rolling back aspects of Dodd-Frank. That effort failed.

Ahead of the vote on late Saturday the Senate was able to move forward a number of the Obama administration’s nominees for the executive branch and judgeships (partially thanks to the Cruz and Lee resistance).

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is trying to have those roughly two-dozen nominees before the end of the year.

Also ahead of the bill’s passage, Lee and Cruz were still able to raise a point of order against the constitutionality of the spending bill as part of their fight against Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Earlier in the night top Senate aides said they were unlikely to win on the point (and scuttle the bill). The motion failed 22-74.

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