(H. J. Res. 44) Final passage of legislation funding the federal government through March 18, 2011 and cutting $4 billion from government programs, including renewable energy research, aid to poorly performing schools, and urban economic development initiatives.
This was a vote on final passage of legislation funding the federal government through March 18, 2011. The short-term government funding bill—known as a “continuing resolution,” or “CR,” also cut $4 billion from government programs, including renewable energy research, aid to poorly performing schools, and urban economic development initiatives.
Two weeks earlier, the House had passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through September 2011 (the end of the federal government’s fiscal year), and cut $60 billion from federal programs. The Senate, however, took no action on that measure, and President Obama had threatened to veto it. Thus, the House brought up this two-week continuing resolution to fund the government through March 18 while congressional leaders negotiated with the Obama administration on a long-term funding bill.
Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) urged support for the bill: “This temporary CR is an extra special effort by the majority Republicans to avoid a government shutdown that could otherwise occur on March 4, when the current funding resolution expires. This temporary CR contains funding to allow all government agencies and programs to continue at the current rate of spending for the next 2 weeks until March 18, 2011, while reducing spending by $4 billion through several spending cuts and program terminations. These cuts reflect this Republican majority's continued commitment to significantly reduce spending, to rein in the nation's exploding deficits and debt, and to help our economy continue on the road to recovery.”
Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH) also supported the bill: “Our first priority today is job growth. That's why we are putting into place policies that will stop the runaway spending here in Washington and help bring more certainty to our financial and business markets to grow our economy and create long-term sustainable jobs….Nobody said these cuts were going to be easy, but they are absolutely essential to help put our country back on a fiscally sustainable path that will create jobs and strengthen our economy for future generations.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) opposed the bill, accusing the Republicans of using the prospect of a government shutdown to force extreme spending cuts: “…I rise in opposition to this 14-day continuing resolution. The House majority is threatening to close down the government. This is brinkmanship. Their desire to engage in brinkmanship damages our economy and creates uncertainty for businesses and families. Make no mistake, the proposed budget cuts will cost jobs, 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012, according to economist Mark Zandi, who, in fact, was the chief economist for Senator John McCain in his Presidential bid…. this budget [continuing resolution] makes deep and reckless cuts in the areas that most impact middle class and working families….This resolution increases unemployment. It will hurt our economic recovery. And I urge my colleagues to oppose this reckless resolution.”
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) also opposed the CR: “This CR is further proof that the majority does not care about the unemployment crisis. This really is a question of our morality as a nation. Are we going to eat a loaf of bread that is spotted with the mold of conservatism and so-called fiscal responsibility, or are we going to bring to our children a loaf of bread that is healthy, whole wheat, and good for America? …I am simply looking ahead for my children and for my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I cannot in good faith go along with this.”
The House passed this bill by a vote of 335-91. Voting “yea” were 231 Republicans and 104 Democrats. 85 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 6 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation funding the federal government through March 18, 2011 and cutting $4 billion from government programs, including renewable energy research, aid to poorly performing schools, and urban economic development initiatives. The Senate was expected to quickly pass the measure, and send it to President Obama to be signed into law.