Senators have given final passage to a measure (Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act – H.R. 1473) that funds government programs for the remainder of this fiscal year by a vote of 81-19. A unanimous consent agreement required 60 votes for passage.
Prior to that action, members voted on two “correcting resolutions” to the budget measure. A unanimous consent agreement required 60 votes for either to pass.
According to the House Rules Committee, passage of one or both of these resolutions would have led the House Clerk to add such language as a “correction” to the final budget legislation.
The first resolution, H.Con.Res. 35, would have defunded the health reform law. It was defeated by a vote of 47-53.
The second, H.Con.Res. 36, would have banned funds for Planned Parenthood. It was defeated by a vote of 42-58.
The House having already passed this budget bill, it now goes to President Obama for his signature.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was able to reach a unanimous consent agreement earlier tonight that locked in votes tomorrow on the budget measure (H.R. 1473) to fund the government for the remainder of this fiscal year.
According to The Hill, Senators “will also vote on two resolutions, one to ban federal funds for Planned Parenthood, another to defund the new healthcare law.”
All votes will be subject to a 60-vote threshold for passage. They will begin shortly after the House finishes their work on the funding measure, which Senators hope will be in the afternoon.
Officials in President Obama’s administration are considering Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) as a possible replacement for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Bloomberg reports.
Obama administration officials are considering Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta, Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus as possible replacements for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to an administration official.
Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, is also among the candidates being looked at to succeed Gates, who previously has said that he plans to retire sometime this year, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the selection process.
Reed “would have the confidence of both the military and the White House” but a “drawback to nominating him is the loss of a senior Democratic lawmaker versed in defense and foreign policy.”
(h/t – Political Wire)
Update: According to POLITICO, Reed “said Tuesday he would not be the ‘one’ President Barack Obama picks to lead the Pentagon.”
In a short interview with POLITICO, Reed (D-R.I.) would not say whether he has had any discussions with administration officials about the job.
“I am working hard to be a good senator from Rhode Island, and that is my sole focus, and I hope to be able to focus on that for the reminder of my term,” said Reed, 61, a West Point graduate and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
When asked if he was interested in the defense job, Reed replied: “I think there are many worthy candidates and the president will find one, and I will not be that one.”
Today, Senators unanimously confirmed Michael Vickers, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “said he won’t support any more temporary spending measures that do not include full-year funding for the military,” The Hill reports.
“I can say with total confidence that the House and Senate will not be passing another continuing resolution without defense spending for the rest of the year,” McConnell said during a colloquy Wednesday with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the Senate floor.
“I don’t intend to support another continuing resolution that does not contain the full year defense appropriations bill,” said McConnell. “I think everyone understands the urgency of that.”
McCain said he hoped the House understood it would have to fully fund the Defense Department in the next spending measure it approves.
Following the “colloquy, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) added that she believes funding for the full year ought to be provided for the Department of Homeland Security as well.”
This does not apply to the three-week funding legislation approved by the House. Senators are expected to adopt that measure this week.