"It is to my great dismay that we are at this point again, requiring a temporary Band-Aid to buy us time to do our duty," said Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the Appropriations Committee, during House debate.
Tea party anger directed at Boehner over the Planned Parenthood issue helped prod the Ohio Republican's announcement to step down. His decision — and other House leadership races — have highlighted divisions between more pragmatic Republicans and hardline conservative wing that is increasingly prominent in Congress, especially in the rough-and-tumble House.
McConnell said Tuesday that he and Boehner spoke with Obama recently and that he expects budget negotiations to get underway soon. The turmoil in the House, where many conservatives want to block spending increases, is certain to complicate the talks, which are likely to focus on swapping near-term budget increases for the Pentagon and domestic programs for longer-term saving elsewhere in the budget.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the likely new House speaker, hasn't said whether he supports a deal.
The Pentagon and domestic agencies all are still operating under automatic curbs that would effectively freeze their spending at current levels. Republicans are leading the drive to boost defense while Obama is demanding equal relief for domestic programs.
The conversation among McConnell, Boehner and Obama took place in mid-September — before Boehner announced he was stepping down. Many of the conservative GOP lawmakers who helped bring Boehner down want to preserve stringent "caps" on the spending bills Congress passes every year. But Senate Republicans are generally more eager to rework the 2011 Budget Control Act that put them in place.
"We have to stop devastating sequester cuts from hitting our military and middle class, even the Republican leader agrees," said top Senate Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada. "Because a week or 10 days ago he said 'We are inevitably going to end up in negotiations that that will crack the Budget Control Act once again. I say 'hallelujah.'"
Eight of the 20 Republican senators who opposed Wednesday's bill are up for re-election in states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012. Presidential aspirants Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida skipped the vote.
Republicans have long targeted Planned Parenthood, and the group's top official defended it in congressional testimony on Tuesday.
Republicans say that videos made by abortion foes show Planned Parenthood has broken federal laws including a ban on for-profit fetal tissue sales. The organization says it has acted legally and the videos were deceptively edited.
The Associated Press