The House has approved the short-term spending resolution sent over by the Senate. The bill, which funds the government through November 18 at the reduced levels agreed to in the Budget Control Act, passed easily with broad bipartisan support, by a vote of 352–66.
All but 13 Democrats voted yes, while 53 Republicans objected. All told, the vote went over without a hiccup. House leaders used less than 10 minutes of the hour of debate time allotted for the bill. The legislation now goes to the president’s desk for him to sign.
It was a decisive end to the touch of uncertainty set off when House Republicans failed (on the first try) to pass their own resolution. But the episode once again highlighted a rift within the House GOP caucus that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon:
On September 21, 48 House Republicans joined all but six Democrats in rejecting a continuing resolution to set spending levels for fiscal year 2012 and fund the government through November 18, dealing an embarrassing blow to party leaders, who had hoped to avoid “unnecessary“ conflict in the wake of the often harrowing debt-ceiling negotiations.
Those negotiations had yielded the Budget Control Act, which established spending levels for each of the next ten years. Sixty-six Republicans voted against it, arguing that it didn’t go far enough to address the nation’s debt problem. Still, House leadership was content to abide by those levels with respect to fiscal-year-2012 funding. House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) urged members to follow suit in a memo shortly following passage of the Budget Control Act.
“While all of us would like to have seen a lower discretionary appropriations ceiling for the upcoming fiscal year, the debt-limit agreement did set a level of spending that is a real cut from the current year level,” he wrote. “I believe it is in our interest to enact into law full-year appropriations bills at this new lower level.”
But House conservatives would not abide. Prior to the failed spending vote, Flake gathered the signatures of 50 of his colleagues on a letter to party leaders urging them to set 2012 funding not at the levels agreed to in the debt-ceiling talks, but rather at the levels outlined in the House budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.).
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