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Friday, September 27, 2013

Senate OKs Budget Bill, But Fight Not Over

Update 2:08 p.m.: The Democratic-run Senate has approved legislation aimed at preventing a Tuesday federal shutdown.

Friday’s vote was 54-44.

But it remains unclear whether the Senate and the Republican-run House will be able to complete a compromise bill in time to get it to President Barack Obama for his signature before the government has to close.

That is because House GOP leaders are still struggling to figure out how they can win enough votes from conservatives to push a new version of the legislation through their chamber.

Conservatives have been trying to use the must-pass bill as a way to kill or weaken 2010 Obama’s health care law.

Before the Senate approved the overall bill, it voted to remove House-passed language that would have blocked money for Obamacare.

NPR’s Tamara Keith joins Here & Now to discuss the vote.

1:19 p.m.: The Senate has rejected an effort by young conservative senators to block a bill to avert a government shutdown on Tuesday.

Friday’s 79-19 vote marks an emphatic defeat for Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Their effort has sparked opposition from Democrats and from many GOP lawmakers, who worry the tactic could prompt a federal shutdown for which Republicans would be blamed.

Cruz and Lee are backed by outside conservative groups and have been trying to block a House-approved budget bill.

That’s because the bill would deny money for President Barack Obama’s health care law. They oppose the health care law and say blocking the budget bill will force Democrats to negotiate.

Guest

  • Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent for NPR. She tweets @tamarakeithNPR.

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