Senate blocks stopgap bill to prevent shutdown
The Senate on Tuesday stumbled over a must-do bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend and to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats, demanding money so Flint, Mich., can address its lead-contaminated water crisis, overwhelmingly opposed the measure, as did a dozen of the Senate’s most conservative members.
The 45-55 vote stalls the stopgap funding bill — for now at least — and is exasperating top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who made several concessions to Democrats in weeks of negotiations over the measure.
The GOP defections left McConnell, R-Ky., short of a simple majority, much less the 60 votes needed to clear a filibuster hurdle.
Republican leaders are promising to address the Flint issue after the election in a separate water resources bill, but Democrats refuse to take them at their word.