After an unusual Saturday session that mainly featured talk about a growing rift within the Republican Party, the Senate gave approval to a giant $1 trillion funding plan, ensuring that there will be some kind of legislative battle next year over the President’s immigration actions.
The vote was 56-40. Senators had earlier voted 77-19 to shut off debate and force final action on the measure.
“It is far from perfect, but it is the product of a bipartisan compromise that in my mind was better than any alternative,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who broke with a number of liberals in her party.
On the Republican side, there was also a divide on the spending measure.
“Our nation is not a dispensable ATM for unbridled, unchecked spending, and our nation can no longer afford for Washington to operate this way,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who skipped the vote and went back home to Oklahoma.
Many Democrats objected to a provision that changed part of a 2009 Wall Street Reform law, as well as another provision that allows more contributions to national political parties.
On the GOP side, the opposition included not only the size of the measure, but also the lack of any provision to attempt to roll back the President’s recent actions on immigration.
On that immigration issue, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) forced a procedural vote in a longshot bid to block the changes that would allow many in the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation, but that lost on a resounding vote of 74-22.
Why didn’t all Republicans back Cruz? It wasn’t because they disagree with him on immigration – but it’s because they had fought with him in recent days over tactics.
It’s a fight that will certainly get a lot of attention in coming weeks, especially in the new Congress.
Here is the list of the Senators who voted against the Omnibus: