Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Senate Unanimously Votes to Close Debate on HJ Res 59

Today the Senate voted on the cloture motion to close debate on the motion to proceed to the consideration of HJ Res 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014. In a surprise vote on one of the most controversial bills of the session, the Senate vote unanimously in favor of the cloture motion.

There will be more debate on the bill and a number of amendments, but it seems clear that the Senate will pass a version of the bill that will not contain the Obamacare defunding or credit limit restrictions that were placed in the bill to appease the more radical elements of the Republican Party base. This will give the Republicans the up or down vote on Obamacare that many commentators have opined that was the real reason for including the provisions in this bill in the first place.

The bill will go back to the House late this week or this weekend. It is not yet clear whether the Republican leadership will be able to put together enough votes (a Republican-Democrat moderate coalition) to approve what will probably be something close to the original version of HJ Res 59, probably with a shorter time limit. I suspect that the that leadership will not know for sure until the actual vote is taken if they have enough votes to keep the government operational on October 1st. The less sure they are of the vote outcome, the later the vote will probably take place.

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