Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown.
Earlier Friday, Senate Republicans joined with the Democratic majority to pass a bill that will keep the government running past the Monday deadline, despite the antics of Tea Party extremist Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Senate voted 79-19, joined by 25 Republicans despite rather prickly opposition to Obamacare.
The next step for the Senate in an expected move is to pass an amendment to remove a provision in the bill that cuts funding for the Affordable Care Act – which has divided the parties in both sectors of Congress for weeks. There has been some opposition for supporting the sweeping healthcare law and to keep the government funded in the Senate, but now the fight moves to the House of Representatives.
With just three days left before the fiscal year deadline, the Republican-majority House is the final wall needed to be scaled in avoiding shutdown. If Congress cannot agree on the budget bill, the government will run out of money at midnight Monday, which would be the first shutdown in almost 20 years.
Despite a unified Republican front in the Senate, there are shakier allegiances inside the House. GOP leaders from the House have not expressed their plans, perhaps in a show of power and one last dig at the opposition. Largely, it appears many of the moderate members of the party have aligned themselves with the vocal Far Right still voicing disdain.