Shutdown? House votes to reject SHORT-TERM SPENDING MEASURE – The Hill
Shutdown? House votes to reject short-term spending measure
By Russell Berman and Pete Kasperowicz – 09/21/11
The House stunned Republican leaders Wednesday by rejecting a temporary spending bill that would have funded the government through Nov. 18.
The vote failed, 195-230, after Democrats pulled their support for the bill and Republican leaders were forced to scramble for enough votes entirely within their own ranks. Four dozen conservatives voted against the bill because it left spending levels for 2012 higher than the cap set in the House GOP budget.
The defeat hands leverage to congressional Democrats in a dispute over federal disaster funding. Democratic leaders objected to a GOP provision cutting funding from a Department of Energy manufacturing loan program to offset additional money for disaster relief.
The House and Senate must pass a spending bill by Sept. 30 to keep the government running into the next fiscal year. Both chambers are scheduled to be out on recess next week.
The defeat was a stinging loss for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who pitched the measure to his conference as the lowest spending number they could get.
House GOP leaders retreated to the Speaker’s office after the vote to plot their next move.
“We are focused on trying to change the way business is done in Washington. Change like this is hard,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters after the vote. “We’ll find a way forward so that we can reflect the expectations that taxpayers have that we are going to begin to start spending their money more prudently.”
Asked if the bill’s defeat increased the possibility of a government shutdown, Cantor replied: “I don’t think so.”