The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill on
Wednesday that would prevent a government shutdown through September
30, the end of the fiscal year.
Some Democrats spoke out against the bill saying that it did nothing to address the sequester cuts, which the piece of legislation would lock into place; although it does feature pre-negotiated appropriations for the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs.
"This is neither regular order nor rational policy. It ought to be rejected," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told lawmakers on the chamber floor. "This CR [continuing resolution] does nothing to address the irrational cuts to defense and nondefense that the sequester will require. It could be very harmful to our economy and to our national security, and place the most vulnerable in America at great risk."
The bill passed in the House by a 267-151 vote.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11) voted in favor of the continuing resolution and released this statement explaining his decision:
Today I voted in favor of the Continuing Resolution because I believe
avoiding a government shutdown and protecting the full faith and credit
of the United States government is paramount. However, I am deeply
concerned that this legislation does nothing to stop the mindless,
across the board sequestration cuts, underfunds important programs like
energy research, Head Start and child care grants and continues the
irresponsible practice of governing by Continuing Resolution.
should not be governing by Continuing Resolution and going from one
self-imposed fiscal crisis to another. This not only prevents us from
funding new legislation, but also prevents us from cutting funding where
needed and eliminating wasteful spending.
The sequestration cuts
will cause long term economic damage. In addition to the deep cuts we
face throughout the country to education, first responders and other
essential services, our district faces even larger consequences with the
possibility of deep cuts to our national labs. Many people in our
community work at Fermilab or Argonne – both of which face significant
cuts. Cutting investments in science and technology is bad nationally
for our economic competitiveness and bad for the 11th District which
would see ripple effects throughout our local economy. The deep and
irresponsible cuts to education and R&D under sequestration will
hurt our region’s economic competitiveness at a time when we can least
It’s time for Congress to stop governing by crisis and
work together to pass a responsible and balanced budget which cuts
wasteful spending where it is prudent and protects critical investments
like education and R&D funding.
It is my hope that the Senate
will improve this legislation and that I will have the opportunity to
vote on a more balanced and responsible approach before the current
Continuing Resolution expires.
The resolution is headed to the Senate, which will likely expand the package, and send it back to the House before the March 27 deadline.
"While we're waiting for the Senate to send us a bill
relieving us of sequestration, while we're waiting for the president to
send us something to relieve us of sequestration, we have no choice but
to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government operating," U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R, KY-5), chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee, told The Hill as an explanation for the chamber passing the legislation.