NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

U.S. House votes with Senate to keep federal government open… for a few more months

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.”

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