Senate Passes Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

Senate won't blink, sends spending bill back to the House.

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on their way to a vote at the Senate Chamber Sept. 27, 2013 on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C.
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The Senate voted Friday to pass a short-term funding bill 54 to 44. The legislation will keep the country's government running through Nov. 15.

But the bill may not be enough to avert a government shutdown.

The legislation not include a provision to defund President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, the key item Republicans in the House rallied to have included in the bill.

[READ: Senate Set To Ok Budget Bill But Fight Not Over]

Now the House of Representatives will decide whether to punt its Obamacare fight to the upcoming debt ceiling debate or continue digging in its heels on the funding bill immediately in front of them, the continuing resolution.

The Senate vote divided Republicans. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who stood for 21 hours on the Senate floor Tuesday and into Wednesday, blasted fellow Republicans who had turned away from fighting to defund Obamacare through the CR. More than a dozen Republicans including Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, voted against a procedural vote in hopes of stalling the CR. They fell short, however.

"It is unfortunate there has been Republican division," Cruz said in his final floor speech ahead of a series of CR votes. "We will have the opportunity for Republicans to come home."

[MORE: Preparing For Shutdown Government Plans Furloughs ]

Cruz asked the House of Representatives to stand firm to ensure that the Senate would have to vote once again next week to defund Obamacare. He has also been working members in the House to oppose any plan to pass a "clean" CR.

"I remain confident, hopeful and optimist that the House will stand their ground," Cruz said.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blamed Cruz and his wing man Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, for holding up the Senate for fundraising and showmanship.

"These extremists are more interested in putting on a show," Reid said. "Every minute that passes, puts this country one second closer to a shutdown...a bad day for government is a good day for the anarchists among us."

Polls show that if Republicans and Democrats cannot come to an agreement sooner than later, Americans will blame both Republicans and Democrats for a government shutdown. A shutdown will mean post offices, military bases, the Capitol, even some food assistance programs will be temporarily halted.

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