Senate Moves On: Washington Post: "The Senate moved Wednesday to take up a House-passed temporary spending bill that defunds President Obama’s health-care law, despite Sen. Ted Cruz’s more than 21-hour attempt to delay the legislation. Shortly after 1 p.m., the funding bill passed its first procedural hurdle in the Senate, which voted unanimously to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed on the House’s continuing resolution. The Senate now is scheduled to hold up to 30 hours of debate on the funding bill ... marking the first step toward allowing Democrats to include funding for the health-care law that had previously been stripped out by the House."
Wait, Did You Say Unanimously? New York Times: "Mr. Cruz’s marathon session — which began Tuesday afternoon, went straight through the night and ended at a predetermined noon deadline — did not win over senators from either party, and in fact Mr. Cruz even voted to open debate. After the vote, Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah and a Cruz ally, said Mr. Cruz never intended to oppose the motion to take up the bill, a position contradicted by his words and procedural motions for days before the tally. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, greeted the conclusion of Mr. Cruz’s performance by declaring it 'a big waste of time.'"
What's Next: Associated Press: "Even with the 100-0 vote, the legislation faces several hurdles that must be overcome as both houses and lawmakers in both parties work to avoid a partial shutdown next Tuesday. The struggle over restoring funds for the health care law is by far the most contentious unresolved issue. Senate Democrats also want to increase funding for federal firefighting efforts without making offsetting cuts to other programs. ... To avoid a partial government shutdown, a single, agreed-upon version must be approved by Congress and signed by Obama by Tuesday."
Navy Yard Update: Associated Press: "The Washington Navy Yard gunman did not target specific individuals when he opened fire inside a building, killing 12 people, and was under a delusional belief that he was being controlled by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves, the FBI said Tuesday. Records recovered from Aaron Alexis's computer and cellphone reveal paranoia and mental health problems that authorities are investigating as the root cause. Records recovered from Aaron Alexis's computer and cellphone reveal paranoia and mental health problems that authorities are investigating as the root cause."
International Arms Treaty: Reuters: "The United States signed a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty regulating the $70 billion global trade in conventional arms on Wednesday and the Obama administration sought to allay the fears of the powerful U.S. gun lobby which says the pact will violate the constitutional rights of Americans. The treaty, which relates only to cross-border trade and aims to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals, still requires ratification by the U.S. Senate and has been attacked by the influential gun rights group the National Rifle Association. ... The United States, the world's No. 1 arms exporter, became the 91st country to sign when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put pen to paper on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations."
Kenya Update: New York Daily News: "The terrorists who carried out a four-day massacre an upscale mall in Kenya rented a shop there for three months leading up to the attack and may have kept a stockpile of weapons there, the Kenyan Interior Ministry said. ... Separately, the militant group behind the takeover of a Nairobi mall claimed Wednesday that Kenyan government assault team carried out "a demolition" of the building, burying 137 hostages in rubble. A government spokesman denied the claim and said Kenyan forces were clearing all rooms, firing as they moved and encountering no one."
Stamp Prices May Rise: NBC News: "The United States Postal Service said Wednesday that it has proposed increasing the price of first-class mail to 49 cents from 46 cents, beginning in January, to help raise revenues for the cash-strapped service. The USPS said the new prices would take effect on Jan. 26, 2014. The increase must be approved by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission."
I Hope Someone Prints Out the PM For Them: CBS News: "[A] new survey found that some 15 percent of Americans -- about 1 in 7 -- don't use the Internet at all. Most of them prefer it that way. The study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project also found that another 9 percent of U.S. adults only use the Internet when they are not at home. Adults with lower levels of income and education, as well as blacks and Hispanics, are significantly more likely to rely on Internet access outside of their home, in libraries, at work or elsewhere. Of the people who don't go online, only 8 percent want to. The rest said they are not interested."
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