The march to avoiding a government shutdown began in earnest Thursday as the Senate blocked an effort to defund Planned Parenthood.
The vote fell 13 votes short of the 60 needed to cut off debate. The bill would have funded the government through December 11. The White House threatened a veto. Current funding runs out Sept. 30.
Next step is expected to be a government funding bill without the Planned Parenthood provision. Final votes are likely early next week.
While the “clean” budget bill is seen as having a chance to win Senate approval, a group of staunch conservatives will try to stop it. Among those leading that effort is Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a Republican presidential candidate, and their best chance may be in the House of Representatives, where Planned Parenthood opponents could be tougher to overcome.
Cruz outlined his vision in a commentary for Politico Magazine Thursday, saying a clean budget bill would be “capitulation...from Republican leadership.
He cited the promise there will be no government shutdown. “On its face, the promise sounds reasonable. Except in practice it means that Republicans never stand for anything,” Cruz argued.
“Surely, you might think, Republicans can use different tactics and accomplish something meaningful without risking a government shutdown,” he said.
But no, said Cruz. “In today’s partisan Washington, there are only two important kinds of votes: show votes on legislation that has no chance of becoming law and votes on legislation that must pass.’’’
Cruz is running for the White House as a potential president who would shake up Washington.
“If leadership is correct that we can never win against the president, why did it matter to win a Republican House? A Republican Senate? If Republican majorities in Congress will acquiesce to and affirmatively fund the identical Big Government priorities that Obama supports, then what difference does it make who is in charge of Congress?” he asked.