Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Senate Struggles To Pass Trillion Dollar Spending Bill

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday, as the Senate considers a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday, as the Senate considers a spending bill.

Meeting in a rare Saturday session, the Senate is debating a $1.1 trillion package that would increase military and scale back financial and environmental regulations.

As The Washington Post notes: "While mostly liberal resistance had kept the bill's fate in doubt in the House, conservative opposition in the Senate is now the focal point. On the right, the resistance was led by those who wanted to use the bill to confront President Obama on his executive actions on immigration."

And, The New York Times says:

"Partisan maneuvering on Friday disrupted what both Democratic and Republican leaders had expected to be a relatively smooth path toward final passage, a late-night twist that is emblematic of the dysfunction plaguing the 113th Congress.

"Though the spending deal is still almost sure to pass, the Senate did not reach an agreement late Friday. Lawmakers are scheduled to being taking votes on nominations Saturday and work through the weekend to address unfinished business."

The government's current spending authority runs out at midnight Saturday, though it's expected that the Senate to extend that deadline until midnight Thursday to give them more time to wrangle over the budget bill.

One of the main sticking points comes from conservative senators led by Ted Cruz of Texas, who are pushing an amendment to cut off funds to the Department of Homeland security for carrying out President Obama's executive action to relax deportations. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked the measure.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.