The United States federal government will not be shutting down tomorrow, thanks to Congress’ approval of a continuing resolution that keeps the nation’s many critical public services funded through early December of this year.
By a vote of 277 to 151, the House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment of H.R. 719, which became the vehicle for keeping the federal government open.
Every Democrat present for the vote voted yes. The Republicans were split, with ninety-one aligned with Speaker John Boehner in support, and one hundred and fifty-one Republicans in opposition.
The roll call from the Pacific Northwest was as follows:
Voting Aye: Democrats Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Denny Heck (WA), Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader (OR); Republicans Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Mike Simpson (ID), Don Young (AK), Ryan Zinke (MT)
Voting Nay: Raúl Labrador (ID)
Not Voting: Republican Dave Reichert (WA)
As we can see, it was a pretty lopsided roll call, with Idaho’s Raúl Labrador the only no vote. The rest of our region’s Republican representatives aligned themselves with Boehner and his lieutenants, including Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Labrador is part of the House Republican caucus’ tea party wing, and is easily the most extreme, militant member of the House from the Pacific Northwest.
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, who represents NPI’s home congressional district, said in a statement following the vote that Congress needs to get out of the very bad habit of creating manufactured fiscal crises by failing to budget responsibly.
“While I’m glad we averted another government shutdown, I’m deeply disappointed that congressional leaders settled on a resolution that simply sets up another potential crisis in two months,” DelBene said.
“The American people expect Congress to come together and work on smart solutions that will spur job growth and build an economy that works for everyone,” she added. “That means crafting a long-term budget that makes job-creating investments, encourages innovation, expands economic opportunity and responsibly reduces our deficit. Lurching toward another government shutdown will only hurt working families, small businesses and our economy.”
“As a former businesswoman, I understand that no business would ever plan just two months at a time. This constant uncertainty and the new normal of governing from crisis-to-crisis harms our economy and damages our credibility.”
President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign H.R. 719.
“With today’s bipartisan vote, Congress has taken a step away from the brink – and the President will sign the bill into law once he receives it,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnes in a statement following the House vote.
“But, the American people deserve far better than last-minute, short-term legislating. That’s why Congress should pass a budget that reverses harmful spending cuts known as sequestration to allow for critical investments in our military readiness, infrastructure, schools, public health, and R&D [research and development] that keep our companies on the cutting edge. Congress can and should get this work done without delay.”
“There is no reason that we should deny American families and businesses the certainty and support they need by kicking the can down the road again,” he stressed. “At a time when our businesses have created more than 13 million new jobs over the past five and a half years, Washington can choose to support our American comeback or to stall its momentum. To the President, the choice is clear.”