House approves Continuing Resolution, keeping government open until December 11
The House of Representatives has approved a continuing resolution to keep the government open until December 11.
The House vote was 277 to 151.
The resolution, which was earlier approved by the Senate – 78 to 20 – now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that Obama will sign the bill so that the government does not shut down at midnight, when fiscal year 2015 ends.
“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,” Earnest said. But, he added, “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 that keep our companies on the cutting edge. Congress can and should get this work done without delay.”
The CR did not stop funding for Planned Parenthood and leaves the battle over that issue and many others until later in the year.
The passage of the continuing resolution apparently means that there will be no hold-up for participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, receiving their benefits.
The five-year authorization of the child nutrition programs, including school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children – known as WIC – expires at midnight, but those programs will continue to be funded through appropriations.
House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Ark., voted against the CR.
“My no vote was for one reason; in that this legislation continues to fully fund Planned Parenthood,” Aderholt said in a statement.
“In good conscience, I could not vote to continue the flow of taxpayer dollars to an organization that engages in something so horrific as selling parts of aborted babies.
“Let me be clear, I don’t support a government shutdown. However, this was simply a vote to do what’s right. I, along with my fellow Republicans, was willing to fund every department, every service and every agency of the federal government except for Planned Parenthood. It is hard to believe the Democrats in the Senate would filibuster continued government funding for the entire federal government for one program like Planned Parenthood.”
Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said today that “passing this legislation means no government shutdown. There may be some drama, but we intend to keep the government open and avoid shutdown, slamdown politics.
“Avoiding a shutdown is just the first step,” she added. “Next, we need a budget deal to cancel sequester.
“The budget deal will give us a framework for an omnibus funding bill that invests in America, protecting national security, rebuilding our physical infrastructure, creating jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow, and meeting our compelling human needs. The Appropriations Committee needs 30 days to get the job done after a new budget deal is passed.
“I challenge leadership to work with Speaker Boehner to enact a new topline budget deal by the end of October,” Mikulski said. “We can’t let October brinksmanship become a Christmas crisis.”
–The Hagstrom Report