Congress is rushing legislation to President Barack Obama that avoids a government shutdown on Thursday when the new fiscal year starts. Nathan Frandino reports.
Congress is one step closer to avoiding a government shutdown. This, after the Senate extended all funding levels until December 11 in a procedural vote on Monday. Now, the Senate will have to pass the spending bill and send it to the House before the midnight Wednesday deadline. Though the votes could come earlier. So far the biggest impediment has been the Republican feud over money for Planned Parenthood. Hardline conservatives have sought to punish the women's health care group over allegations it sold fetal tissue. But in this stop-gap spending bill, Planned Parenthood is spared any cuts, angering Republican Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN SENATOR AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "It is essentially a blank check to Barack Obama. That's not very clean to me. That actually sounds like a very dirty funding bill." The budget showdown comes as Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday over the $550 million her group receives from the government annually. Supporters say Planned Parenthood provides an essential service to America's women and that funding must continue.