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September 27, 2013

Senate votes start at 12:30, and after that, who knows?

The action in Congress starts at 12:30 Friday, when the Senate is scheduled to begin a series of votes that will stake out its position on keeping the government open--and Obamacare funded.

If the Senate acts as expected, the next move will be up to the Republican-led House of Representatives. Republicans are expected to meet after the Senate vote to plot their next moves.

The first Senate vote Friday will be whether to cut off debate on legislation keeping the government running past Oct. 1. Sixty votes are needed for passage.

If that vote succeeds--as expected--the Senate would then quickly vote to restore Obamacare funding, which was eliminated in the House version of the bill last week--and then pass the entire bill. Those two votes need 51 for passage, and Democrats control 54 of the 100 seats.

After that, who knows? Republicans have vowed they won't accept a budget that funds Obamacare. They're considering several steps, including adding a repeal of a medical device tax that helps fund the law's provisions, and keeping the government open for another week while negotiations continue.

If the two Houses can't agree by Monday night, parts of the government are due to shut down Tuesday.

 

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