Good morning, fellow political junkies.Today finds the Senate in continued debate aimed at reaching a legislative agreement that keeps the federal government open into the new fiscal year which starts Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mood among congressional Republicans to test President Obama's resolve to not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks.
Here are some politically-connected items or themes that caught my eye this morning.
In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.
The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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We're less than a week away from a possible shutdown of the federal government and there is still no clear path to a stopgap budget agreement in Congress. A bill to keep things running did inch forward in the Senate today. But getting a final deal between the Senate and the House is another question.
NPR's Scott Horsley reports on what a government shutdown would mean for people's pocketbooks.
The United States added a signature to a new treaty today. It's on international arms trade. The agreement is meant to stem the flow of weapons to conflict zones around the world. Human rights activists are hailing the decision, but the Obama administration will have an uphill battle getting the treaty ratified by Congress. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more from the United Nations.
The Senate took the next step on its weeklong road to passing a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown next week. The legislative movement follows on the heels of a 21-hour talk-a-thon by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is hoping to defund Obamacare.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:23 pm
OK, so it wasn't a real filibuster, as no Senate action was actually blocked or delayed. But Texas Republican Ted Cruz's talk-fest did succeed in one key measure: duration.
At 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz held the Senate floor 8 hours and 27 minutes longer than Kentucky Republican Rand Paul did in March when he staged an actual filibuster over the country's drone policy.