Senator Mike Rounds Changes Sides on House Funding Bill

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, one of the three GOP senators that are against the House government funding bill, said that he will give his support for the bill in question only after cutting a new deal on defense spending.

“I will vote for CR cloture because we’re moving to regular order on the defense appropriations bill. And part of the deal is we’re going to move to regular order on the defense appropriations bill,” Rounds said while exiting the Capitol.

This is opposite of what Rounds commented earlier that day when he said that he could not support the House bill in its “current form.”

House conservatives got GOP leadership in that chamber to agree to take up military spending within 10 days, roughly by the time of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. The senator later stated that in addition there is a deal that the Senate will take up military spending within at least a month.

“We have an agreement here with leadership that we will take it up within four weeks if not sooner,” Rounds commented.

Besides Senator Rounds, GOP Senators Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul stated that they too will be against the House bill. Senator Mike Lee also voted against the bill.  There is no information if the leadership was able to flip any other GOP senators. According to The Hill, with Rounds poised to vote “yes,” McConnell will now need 11 Democratic senators to support ending debate on the House bill if he wants to overcome a 60-vote procedural hurdle.

However, Democratic aide in the Senate previously stated that the Democratic caucus has enough votes to oppose the bill. They are hoping to return Republicans to the negotiating table and find new solutions on issues like healthcare and immigration.

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