The Senate voted 79-19 Friday to advance legislation that would keep the government funded through the fall, a critical step for Democrats as they seek to avert an Oct. 1 government shutdown while still protecting funding for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
In its previous form, the bill would strip funding for Obamacare, but Friday’s vote paved the way for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his fellow Democrats to vote to remove that language and pass a version of the bill that includes funding for the health care law. They did just that along party lines.
For Democrats, Friday’s vote is an easy decision: Voting yes allows them to protect funding for a law they favor, as well as send a bill back to the House, leaving that chamber with the choice of whether to pass it and avert a government shutdown.
For Republicans, the vote represented a politically perilous choice: By voting vote no on cluture, some chose to stand with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in telling Democrats they will not accept an extension the keeps Obamcare funded, even if that means the government shuts down Oct. 1.
But while Republicans are united in their desire to defund Obamacare, they differ in tactics, as many — including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., — say they prefer not to precipitate a shutdown over the measure. Those senators fear the political backlash of being blamed for shutting down the government, and would prefer to use different levers, including possibly the upcoming battle over the debt ceiling, to defund the health care law.
Here’s how they voted:
Republicans voting for cloture:
Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), John McCain (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Thune (S.D.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Jeff Chiesa (N.J.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas).
Republicans voting against cloture:
Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), David Vitter (La.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Dean Heller (Nev.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Jim Risch (Idaho), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.).
Democrats voting for cloture:
All of them.
Senators who did not vote:
Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (Utah)
CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated the home states of senators Johanns and Thune. They are Nebraska and South Dakota, respectively.
What We're Following See More »
"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.