WASHINGTON – The Senate will convene in a rare Saturday session after making some progress toward passing a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government Friday night. Despite the step forward, lawmakers failed to lock down a deal after two Republican senators demanded the bill be stripped of money that could be used to implement President Obama’s new immigration policy.
Senate GOP leaders pledged to fight Obama’s immigration plan next year when they take control of the upper chamber but Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggested they shouldn’t be entirely trusted to keep their pledge.
“We will learn soon enough if those statements are genuine and sincere,” Cruz said, in a clear reference to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner.
Still, current leaders from both parties say the bill remains on track for a Monday vote.
On Friday, the House passed a second stopgap measure Friday afternoon, buying the Senate additional time to discuss and vote on a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill.
The House vote provides a pad to make certain the government doesn’t shut down at midnight Saturday when current funding authority runs out.
It’s still unknown whether the House measure, passed by a voice vote while the chamber was virtually empty, will be needed. Senate leaders say they hope to wrap up action on the omnibus budget bill by Friday night but say that goal is looking less attainable.
Washington woke up to “Fallout Friday,” with liberal Democrats openly outraged at Obama and conservative Republicans disgusted with Boehner after both did enough wheeling, dealing and arm twisting to push through a spending bill three hours shy of the midnight deadline.
The surprise beneficiary in this latest political conundrum could be Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a relative newcomer to the Senate but looking more and more like the liberal Democratic answer to who might challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
The House narrowly approved a sweeping spending bill Thursday night despite deep misgivings among liberals and conservatives alike, sending the measure to the Senate as lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown.
The bill passed on a 219-206 vote, following an intense lobbying effort by House Republican leaders and the White House.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Kara Rowland and The Associated Press contributed to this report.