UPDATE 10:10 p.m. EST: The U.S. Senate Saturday voted 56-40 to approve a $1.1 trillion "cromnibus" spending bill that funds the federal government through September. The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature. The vote came after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tried to force a procedural vote on the president's executive order on immigration but Democrats blocked the move.
UPDATE 8:45 p.m. EST: President Obama signed a stop-gap spending resolution late Saturday that funds the federal government through Wednesday, the White House said in a statement. The signing came as word surfaced the Senate had reached agreement on plans to vote for a $1.1 billion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through September.
The Senate approved a short-term spending bill during a rare Saturday session that will give lawmakers four more days to agree on a $1.1 trillion funding measure that will keep the government running through September. The House passed the bill Thursday and left town.
Congressional leaders have been fighting to prevent a government shutdown like the one last year that forced the national parks to close and sent thousands of federal government workers home for more than two weeks.
Saturday's voice vote extends funding through Wednesday. President Barack Obama now has to sign it.
Some Republicans oppose the $1.1 trillion "cromnibus" spending bill, saying it doesn't go far enough to stop Obama's executive order on immigration. The bill funds the Department of Homeland Security only through February, setting up another fight early next year.
Democrats are unhappy with riders repealing some bank regulations imposed after the 2008 economic meltdown and the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, led the GOP opposition, alleging it was "business as usual" in Congress despite last month's election that gave Republicans full control of Capitol Hill come January, the Hill reported. A Cruz spokeswoman said the senator plans to raise a constitutional point-of-order Sunday on the spending bill to force lawmakers to go on the record regarding "the constitutionality of President Obama's illegal amnesty" for undocumented immigrants.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., worked Friday to come to an agreement on the spending bill, but Cruz's insistence on a series of votes on immigration scuttled the plan, forcing the weekend session.
“The American people have grave concerns with the president’s decision to take action unilaterally with regard to executive amnesty,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, according to Politico. “I don’t see any reason to do this. I don’t see any reason why the United States Senate should suspend its operations while the American people are waiting for us to act. I don’t see any reason why we should wait until Monday.”