"I can understand people who want to make a political point [about Planned Parenthood] and that's all well and good, but I don't want Atlanta to run dry. ... I've been crawling on my hands and knees for the last two weeks following along the process to make sure that language isn't in there."
Shelby was not so preoccupied, according to spokeswoman Torrie Matous:
"Because the short-term CR is simply a stop-gap continuation of Fiscal Year 2015 spending policy, Senator Shelby did not request, nor was he expecting, the 'water wars' language from the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to be included. However, Senator Shelby will continue to fight to ensure that the committee-approved language is incorporated in any final appropriations measure that is ultimately enacted."
The House is expected to clear the continuing resolution before the government shuts down Thursday, making Dec. 11 the next deadline day.
At that point, observers expect Congress to consider an "omnibus" spending bill for all of Fiscal 2016, and it becomes a behind-the-scenes test pitting Georgia against Alabama, House against Senate. Shelby, first elected in 1986, can put his long seniority on the Appropriations Committee to work, while Isakson will try to leverage his relationships with those higher on the food chain.