UPDATE 4x: 12:51 CST: With a 54 to 44 vote - Senator Durbin voting "yes", Senator Kirk voting "no" - H.J.Res. 59 passed with Obamacare funding re-instated and budget provisions through November 15. The legislation will return to the U.S. House for consideration.
UPDATE 3x 12:00 Noon CST: Continuing Resolution Cloture vote passes 79 to 19, with both Kirk and Durbin voting "Yes."
UPDATE 2x: Senator Kirk's office says that although he is voting "Yes" on the cloture vote, he will vote "no" on the final version if Senator Reid strips out the defunding of Obamacare.
However, because the cloture vote will allow a simple majority to amend the resolution, the Democrats will be able to pass amendments to strip the defunding of Obamacare and will have enough Democrat votes to pass the final bill without Republican votes. Kirk can still tell voters he was against defunding Obamacare by voting 'no' on the final bill. The key Senate vote on H.J. Res. 59 is the cloture vote.
UPDATE: Senator Kirk's office has just notified IR that he is voting "Yes" on the Continuing Resolution cloture vote, breaking the anti-Obamacare GOP caucus and assuring the Democrats will have the votes needed to strip the Obamacare delay from the Continuing Resolution.
WASHINGTON - This morning, U.S. Senator Kirk's office would not confirm how the senator plans to side in the all-important cloture vote Friday. Illinois Review asked if he would be voting "yes" or "no," and Kirk's spokesperson Nicole Barrett said "We'll have to get back to you on that."
Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk put out the following statement concerning the Continuing Resolution coming before the Senate today. To vote for cloture is to allow a simple majority to amend the resolution. To vote against the cloture is to stop the CR from progressing and allowing the proposal to be amended. Senate Republicans such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are expecting the Democrats to strip the Obamacare delay from the bill and send it back to the U.S. House, thus they are urging a "no" vote today.
Kirk's statement earlier this week can be interpreted in various ways. Some that have called his office report he is voting "no," others are not so sure.
Kirk's statement on Obamacare from earlier this week: "I stand with the majority of Americans in opposing ObamaCare, which is why I have voted against it 36 times. I support the House-passed measure that defunds ObamaCare without increasing federal spending by a dime while preventing a government shutdown."
Illinois' other Senator, Dick Durbin, is a strong advocate of Obamacare.