Senate Republicans Align With Democrats to Avoid Shutdown

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Republicans lined up with Democrats on Tuesday to move forward a federal spending package, isolating House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in an impending government shutdown fight.

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Thirty-seven Republicans joined with Democrats to expedite the measure, part of a plan to provide $100 billion more in annual government funding than House Republicans are seeking. The plan doesn’t include the border security, anti-abortion and other provisions House conservatives are demanding to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30.

The vote is the latest sign of a breach among Republicans over the shutdown strategy, a sharp contrast to a political battle earlier this year over raising the US legal debt limit. Senate and House Republicans then united to force President Joe Biden to agree to spending cuts in exchange for avoiding the nation’s first default.

“If there is a shutdown, it is all on the House side,” said Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. “The Senate has been very responsible throughout this process.”

The vote is the first step toward a week of debate on annual funding for the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing and Urban Affairs. After passing those bills, the Senate is planning to pass a stopgap bill to avoid an Oct. 1 government shutdown and pairing that with $24 billion in aid to Ukraine as well as $16 billion in disaster aid.

“We know that in divided government you are not going to get everything in a bill,” said Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota. “We need our military to get the funds they need.”

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