WASHINGTON - Wisconsin's Senators voted with their political parties on Friday. A short-term spending deal that would avoid a government shutdown passed in the Senate with a 54-44 vote. The Senate also voted to remove House-passed language that would have blocked money for Obamacare.
Two area lawmakers also know there is a busy weekend ahead if a shutdown is to be avoided.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin spoke on the Senate floor on Thursday. Baldwin said the new health insurance law should not be part of a budget debate.
"Instead of working together to do what's best for middle class families - moving health care reform forward - this political game of drama and division insists on shutting down the government unless health care is repealed for millions of Americans," she said.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the spending plan. In an interview with FOX 11, Johnson said he is confident the House will strike a deal to avoid a shutdown next week. He said the House should "put together a bill that is almost impossible for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to say no to."
Johnson said he believed the House should stick to the current spending caps. He also said any budget proposal should get rid of the government's contributions to lawmakers to help them cover the cost of their health insurance and repeal the medical device tax.
Republican Rep. Tom Petri of the 6th District is a longtime opponent of the health care law, but he stopped short of saying he would insist on defunding it right now. He told FOX 11 that he is more concerned about the government closing.
"If we go through the expense of shutting it down, we're going to have to go through the expense of starting it up again at some point, and if people are concerned about budget spending, that's a way of wasting money," Petri said.
Republican Rep. Reid Ribble of the 8th District told FOX 11 on Friday that he doesn't hear representatives or senators talking about a shutdown. He thinks a short-term deal will be reached over the weekend.
If Congress does not reach an agreement by Tuesday, some non-essential government programs would shut down, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees, deemed to be non-essential, would have to stay home.
A 42-year-old Shawano County man was arrested after a drug bust uncovered bath salts and marijuana.
A woman who worked at an assisted living facilitywas sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking nude photos of residents.
Gov. Scott Walker says a historic tax credit bill he has signed into law will help revitalize downtowns across Wisconsin.
The Sartori Co. announced Wednesday it will spend $14 million to renovate two plants, adding jobs in the process.
A 38-year-old man is behind bars after allegedly peeping into windows in a Kaukauna neighborhood.
Photos of a fire on Watson St., the main street in downtown Ripon, Dec. 11, 2013.