The U.S. Senate voted to end debate on a spending measure just four days before a threatened federal government shutdown.
The fate of the bill remained in limbo in the House as the Republican Party’s rebellious right wing is blocking a strategy by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) for navigating a series of deadlines to keep the government funded and avoid the nation’s first default.
Senators began holding a series of votes starting after midday to move the bill forward. They voted 79 to 19 to invoke cloture on the House-passed bill, formally ending debate on it so that it can be amended to delete House Republican provisions to defund President Obama’s health-care law. The cloture motion required 60 votes for passage.
Senate Democrats are expected to restore funding for Obama’s health care law and send the measure to the House.