U.S. Senator Reed speaks to reporters as he arrives for a cloture vote on the nomination of Lynch to be Attorney General in Washington

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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