Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, says now that all the attention has turned away from Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s all-night talk in the Senate against Obamacare, the body will move forward with the procedures to pass the budget bill. “Today sometime, I don’t know when, we will vote on the motion to proceed. The leader will file an amendment, a substitute with knocks out all that nonsense that the House put in there. And he will file cloture on that,” Harkin says.
Cloture is a way to limit the amount of time an issue is debated. He says it will take two days to move ahead on the next step. “So then on Saturday we’ll vote on that — we’ll vote on the cloture petition on that substitute Saturday morning,” Harkin says. “Then there’s 30 hours of debate on that, and then sometime on Sunday we would vote on the final passage and then send it back to the House.”
Harkin says the next question is whether Republicans will agree to shorten the time of the debate, and says he has so far not heard of any deals being made to short circuit the time limit. All this is going on with the threat of the government shutting down — something that has been threatened and happened before.
Harkin was asked if Americans are paying attention to the debate. “People may not be paying attention because probably I think the rank and file American probably feels ‘well they’ll work it out some way.’ Maybe yes, maybe know,” Harkin says. “But I can tell you, we’re not going — we in the Senate, I don’t think the president either — are going to be blackmailed because of this obsession to defund the health care bill.”
The government could shut down on Tuesday, October first if the budget bill is not worked out.