Bill to avoid government shutdown moves in Congress

Boston police officers stand in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in BostonBy Richard Cowan and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress on Thursday began advancing bills urgently needed to avoid federal agency shutdowns on Oct. 1 while navigating conservatives’ demands to punish Planned Parenthood over an abortion controversy. The Senate defeated Republican efforts to use a funding extension bill to cut off money to Planned Parenthood, clearing the way for a version without that provision that extends all previous funding through Dec. 11. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has set the first procedural vote on that measure for Monday, two days before the federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

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