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The House is out of session until Wednesday, having lobbed their stink bomb of a continuing resolution into the Senate Friday. The Senate spent four hours today not doing much of anything, other than setting up their week for dealing with the stink bomb. That involved some back and forth between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the skunk at everybody's picnic, Sen. Ted Cruz.
Cruz requested unanimous consent to pass the House's bill—passing it straight up with no changes—and Reid objected. Of course. Then Cruz requested that all amendments to the continuing resolution be subjected to a 60-vote threshold, because Reid intends to strip the Obamacare defunding from the CR with simple majority votes. As Senate rule allow. As Reid explained clearly to anyone listening.
"I try to follow the Senate rules," Reid said on the floor. "Sometimes they are obnoxious, and I wish they were different."
That, according to Cruz, is Reid choosing to "engage in brinksmanship." No, really. He said that.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell crawled out from under his rock to finally take a position on this whole mess. Well, he didn't really, he had his spokesman make the statement while he stayed under his rock.
“Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for McConnell, R-Ky. “If and when the Majority Leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide—without hiding behind a procedural vote—whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill.”
So he could conceivably argue that he supported Ted Cruz's defunding effort when Ted Cruz was against it, since Cruz is trying to get Republicans to filibuster his own bill. Or something. At any rate, the day ended with Reid filing cloture on the House CR. That vote will happen Wednesday, probably around noon. When we'll be five and a half days away from a government shutdown.