This was a vote on final passage of legislation to keep all government agencies and programs operating through December 3, 2010. (Such measures are known as a “continuing resolutions” or “CRs.”) Democratic leaders brought up this bill in the House of Representatives shortly before adjourning in advance of the 2010 midterm elections.
[Congress generally votes on 12 separate spending bills (referred to as “appropriations bills”) each year. These bills fund the federal government’s various agencies and departments (such as the Education Department, the Agriculture Department, etc.) and most government programs. Since Congress had not passed any of these 12 bills, legislation to fund government operations on a short-term basis was required – or the government would have shut down.]
Rep. David Obey (D-WI) urged support for the short term funding bill (referred to as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”): “…This continuing resolution is designed to keep the government open and running. We have an obligation to do this. We've got enough problems in the economy right now without adding to uncertainty. The Senate passed this continuing resolution by a vote of 69-30. The House ought to pass it. It is a relatively straightforward and unadorned CR which simply keeps the government open for 64 days.”
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) argued the bill was fiscally irresponsible, and urged members to oppose it: “This Continuing Resolution would have been the Democrat majority's last hope of telling voters that they're listening to the public's concern about out-of-control spending--and yet, one more time, they have turned a deaf ear.…While I recognize the need to keep the government running in the absence of any spending bills being enacted, I cannot and will not support this CR because it continues unsustainable and unrestrained levels of spending established last year.”
The House passed the short-term funding bill by a vote of 228-194. 227 Democrats – including a majority of progressives -- and 1 Republican voted “yea.” 172 Republicans and 22 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation to keep all government agencies and programs operating through December 3, 2010.