Senate approves interim spending bill by voice vote, aligns with House

Fox News Flash top headlines for December 11

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on

The Senate aligned with the House to approve an interim spending bill Friday for one week to avoid a government shutdown. 

The Senate approved the plan by voice vote and the bill now goes to President Trump to sign, which he is expected to do. The plan funds the government until midnight on Dec. 19. 

The hope is for the Senate and House to use this week to come together on an omnibus spending package and fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and to forge an agreement on COVID relief and tack it onto the omnibus. 

Possibility of a shutdown loomed earlier this week as some senators stood in the way. The Senate needed all 100 senators to agree to a vote. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was burning the Senate clock earlier in the day on the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. Paul is unhappy with a provision limiting the president’s power to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. 

Paul could have required the Senate to continue to burn the clock on the defense bill this afternoon, potentially jeopardizing passage of the Band-Aid spending bill. But Paul said this morning he would not stand in the way of that.

In addition, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had been demanding a vote on a provision for $1,200 stimulus checks. Sanders, along with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., made an impassioned plea for Congress to come together on coronavirus relief. Hawley, too, pushed for stimulus checks. 

The Vermont senator said he would withdraw his objection to the stopgap bill to keep the government open, but threatened not to do the same next week. 

"I am not one of the members of the Senate who shuts down … does this and does that, keeps people here for the weekend. … I don't do that. But this I want to say right now, I am prepared to withdraw my objection at this moment. But I will not be prepared to withdraw an objection next week," Sanders said.

"We will deal with the financial crisis facing tens of millions of Americans. And if I have anything to say about it, and I guess I do, we're not going to go home for the Christmas holidays, unless we make sure that we provide for the millions of families in this country who are suffering."


Relief negotiating soured Friday after Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrats reached an impasse on federal aid for state and local governments. 

"While Democrats hold the Paycheck Protection Program hostage over controversial state government bailouts, family businesses are closing their doors," McConnell, R-Ky., said in floor remarks Thursday. "Our Democratic colleagues have not even let us pass non-controversial money to invest in vaccine distribution. Not unless the two parties settle a whole list of issues that are controversial the way they want."

McConnell doubled down on his comments Friday, saying he offered to drop Republicans' demand of liability protection for businesses in exchange for Democrats dropping their demand for "bailouts."

Meanwhile, Fox News is told that the bipartisan $908B Senate coronavirus plan, sponsored by a group that includes Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, is just "talk."

Fox News is told that rank-and-file Republican senators criticized the plan during a meeting earlier this week and that many in the Senate Republican caucus still oppose the "controversial" efforts to send money to state and local governments.


The logjam follows multiple "targeted" Republican proposals that have been filibustered by Senate Democrats' and Republicans' consistent refusal to significantly increase the size of the price tag they are willing to accept on the bill.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

Source: Read Full Article