Senate to advance stopgap spending bill to avoid shutdown

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is on track to advance legislation to prevent the government from shutting down after a midnight Wednesday deadline.

But a move by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to strip the measure of language to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood has rankled conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz and tea partyers in the House.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio don't want the battle over Planned Parenthood to lead to a government shutdown. Last week, Democrats filibustered a Senate stopgap measure that would have "defunded" Planned Parenthood.

Boehner's shocking announcement on Friday that he'll retire from Congress at the end of next month promises to ease passage of the measure through a shell-shocked House.