Democrats to block spending bills over Pentagon funds

U.S. Senator Reed speaks to reporters as he arrives for a cloture vote on the nomination of Lynch to be Attorney General in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. Senate Democrats said on Thursday they would block spending bills for the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1 to press their case for scrapping mandatory spending limits that have been in place for the past two years. Congress must pass a series of fiscal 2016 appropriations bills, or a stopgap measure, by Sept. 30, to avoid a government shutdown on October 1. Senate Democrats have been arguing with Republicans, who have majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, over a plan to use special contingency funds to avoid the spending cap, but only for the Department of Defense.

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