McConnell Introduces Short-Term Spending Bill To Dodge Gov’t Shutdown, Dems Push Back

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Democratic senators are vowing to block a continuing resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday.

“There have been broad requests for a clean continuing resolution, so that’s what I’ve just offered,” McConnell said on the House floor while filing for cloture. “It’s the result of many, many hours of bipartisan work on both sides of the aisle.”

But Democrats reject the claim that the proposed resolution is a clean bill, lambasting the must-pass, stop-gap spending legislation for excluding provisions to provide funding for the Flint water crisis and language to restore the Export-Import Bank’s full power. These are issues Democrats emphasized would need to be included for them to support the measure.

Flint aid was a particular sticking point for Democrats, who argued it should paired with the funding provided for flood victims in Louisiana, Maryland and West Virginia, which was included in the bill’s text.

The bill also includes a provision stopping the Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring companies to disclose political donations.

Republicans relinquished a number of their goals, including the Sen. Ted Cruz-led effort to block the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) transfer an issue recently endorsed by GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“I am profoundly disappointed that Senate negotiators appear to have given in to the White House demands to hand over increased control of the Internet to authoritarian regimes like China, Russia, and Iran.  This is one more example why the American people are so fed up with Washington, because they expect all of us — Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike — to protect free speech online,” Cruz said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“I am grateful for my Senate colleagues’ vigorous support during this debate, and I encourage my colleagues in the House to continue to stand united to ensure that the government funding bill prevents the Obama administration from permanently undermining free speech on the Internet.”

Cruz’s office did not respond on whether he would vote for the bill or filibuster due to the omission of the ICANN provision.

Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin told reporters the impasse raises the chances of a government shutdown.

“If there is one responsibility of the governing party has, in this case the Republicans, it’s not to let the government shut down,” he said. “But you know, tell that to Ted Cruz, if he get’s another chance to read Dr. Suess, he might jump at it.”

Hawaii Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz echoed Durbin’s sentiments, saying there is no way the party will get behind the bill.

“They are not facing reality yet, I don’t think they realize how united we are,” he said.

While parties remain at odds, lawmakers were able to come to a consensus on funding for the Zika crisis, opioid epidemic and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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