The Slatest

Senate Passes Clean CR, Returns Hot Potato to House GOP

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner listens to House Republican colleagues speak at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol September 26, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Your move, John Boehner. Politico with the details:

The Senate cleared a bill 54-44 to fund the government through Nov. 15 at a $986 billion annual level. The bill now heads to the House, where Speaker John Boehner has indicated the GOP will amend it. If the House changes the bill, it will be returned to the Senate. Unless both chambers find consensus, the federal government will close on Oct. 1.

Boehner and co. have already promised that the Senate’s stripped-down bill will be DOA in the lower chamber. Exactly what Republicans do next, however, remains unclear. Given the speed at which the Senate operates, even if the House passes another modified version there’s almost no way the Senate could act on it before Tuesday.

There has been some recent speculation that the GOP may ultimately cave and simply attach their anti-ACA efforts to the debt-ceiling debate that looms on the horizon, but if they don’t we’re likely looking at a partial shutdown of the federal government. For now, the spotlight shifts from Ted Cruz and his ability to talk at length without a bathroom break to Boehner and House Republicans, who are now holding the hot potato with only four days to go.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the debt ceiling fight.