By Patrick Reis and Dustin Volz
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The Senate approved legislation today that would extend the budget and keep Obamacare funded, as a majority of Republicans rejected Sen. Ted Cruz's call for a filibuster and cleared the way for Majority Leader Harry Reid to use a series of party-line votes to restore funding for Obamacare and send the bill back to the House. The House's response remains uncertain, but it appears likely they'll vote tomorrow to send a bill back to the Senate that—at the least—delays major aspects of the health care law. Elsewhere, the U.S. and Russia found common ground at the U.N. over Syria's chemical-weapons program, and a judge ordered New Jersey to allow gay marriage.
WHO VOTED WHERE: The Senate voted 79-19 to end debate on the budget bill, as a majority of Republicans heeded Reid's call for cloture over Cruz's demand for a filibuster. Here's the roll-call vote. (NJ)
CRUZ'S LAST LAUGH: Cruz's attempt to block the bill appears to have elevated his standing with the party base, as a new poll finds the Texas senator the favorite choice in a potential GOP presidential primary, ahead of Sen. Rand Paul or Gov. Chris Christie. (Alexandra Jaffe, The Hill)
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE HOUSE? "House Republicans will meet Saturday at noon, and will likely vote on a government funding bill after that. If the House takes up and passes the Senate's amended bill, a government shutdown will be avoided. If the lower chamber alters the bill to put back controversial Obamacare language, the Senate likely won't have time to respond given the slow churn of the chamber, elevating prospects of a shutdown significantly." (Everett/Sherman, Politico)
WHAT'S NEXT IN THE HOUSE? House Republicans will meet at noon Saturday and will likely hold another vote on government funding. GOP leadership could allow a vote on the Obamacare-restored budget bill the Senate passed today, but it appears more likely they will continue their attack on the health care law, sending a bill back to the Senate that delays implementation of the individual mandate for health insurance. The House could also send the Senate a very short continuing resolution—perhaps as little as a week—to avert shutdown while they continue demanding policy concessions.
HOUSE NOT READY TO GIVE UP YET: Reports indicate Speaker John Boehner was working on a plan to move past the budget debate and pin the party's anti-Obamacare hopes on the debate over the debt ceiling, but that plan fizzled when his party's right flank—cheered on by Cruz—demanded they keep fighting over the continuing resolution. "On a Thursday conference call, a group of House conservatives consulted with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas about how to respond to the leadership's fiscal strategy. Sources who were on the call say Cruz strongly advised them to oppose it, and hours later, Speaker John Boehner's plan fizzled." (Robert Costa, National Review)
A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN GUIDE FOR DUMMIES: Five important questions ("What does a shutdown really look like?") you always wanted to ask about the shutdown, complete with answers. (Mimi Dwyer, New Republic)
OBAMA TALKS TO ROUHANI, BLAST GOP ON SHUTDOWN THREATS: The president spoke by phone with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and said he believes "there is a basis for a resolution" concerning the country's nuclear program. Obama, in the same afternoon press briefing, condemned Republicans for risking a government shutdown and said a debt default "would have a profound destabilizing effect on the world economy."
U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON SYRIA: "The U.N. Security Council is set to adopt a resolution [today] on eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal after Russia and the United States overcame a bitter deadlock to avert U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government." (Irish/Nichols, Reuters)
U.N. CLIMATE PANEL ENDORSES EMISSIONS CEILING: "The world's top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases for the first time, establishing a target level at which humanity must stop spewing them into the atmosphere or face irreversible and potentially catastrophic climatic changes. They warned that the target is likely to be exceeded in a matter of decades unless steps are taken soon to reduce emissions." (Justin Gillis, NYT)
NEW JERSEY COURT ORDERS STATE TO ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE: The ruling is likely to be appealed and challenged by Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal opponent of gay marriage. (Zernike/Santora, NYT)
WORST SINCE THE CIVIL WAR: "We are at one of the most dangerous points in our history right now. Every bit as dangerous as the break-up of the Union before the Civil War," the Iowa Democrat said on the Senate floor Friday. (Matt Berman, NJ)
PELOSI: On House budget negotiations: "Let's see what we can do working together" but "don't expect us to be helpful when it comes to the debt ceiling." (Patrick O'Connor, WSJ)
ROMNEY: He doesn't like Obamacare, but he also doesn't like how Republicans are trying to use it as leverage in fiscal battles. (Tapper/Pham, CNN)
WALL STREET: Stocks drop amid tense budget and debt negotiations in Washington. (Mikolajczak, Reuters)
KENYA: The country's military caused the collapse of three floors of Nairobi's Westgate Mall, an official said, which "raises the possibility that the military may have killed hostages in their rescue attempt." (Tom Odoula, AP)
EPA: John Beale, a former senior official at the EPA, pleaded guilty today "to stealing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars by pretending to work for the CIA." (Marimow/Bernstein, WaPo)
SYRIA: A car bomb near a mosque north of Beirut killed at least 30 people as worshippers were finishing Friday prayers. (Lucas/Mroue, AP)
IS OBAMACARE TRANSFORMING AMERICA? It might not look like a major overhaul yet, but that may all change dramatically in just a few years. (Catherine Hollander, NJ)
SURVIVING WESTGATE: Witnesses recount the horrors of being stuck inside the Nairobi mall. (James Verini, The New Yorker)