This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and limiting amendments to legislation keeping government programs and agencies operating for three days to prevent the government from shutting down.
The federal government’s fiscal year ends on September 30. If Congress has not passed legislation setting funding levels for all programs and agencies by that date, the House and Senate must enact temporary “continuing resolutions” (or “CRs”) until a long-term funding bill is passed and signed into law by the president. In this case, the government would have shut down on Sunday, December 19 (the date at which the previous CR expired). This continuing resolution kept the government running through December 21. Such short-term measures were necessary because the Senate had not yet passed a long-term bill to fund government operations. Thus, while the House waited for the Senate to act, it passed this bill to keep the government running for three more days.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) argued the bill would “allow government to continue its normal operations until midnight, on Tuesday, to give the Senate a chance to complete its deliberations.” Polis continued: “I could take this opportunity to share the frustration of our colleagues at the inability of the Senate to complete its work in a timely manner; but in the spirit of the [holiday] season… I will simply say that we must pass this continuing resolution to allow the Senate to continue its important work and deliberations to create either a longer term continuing resolution or an omnibus appropriations package that will allow the regular business of government to keep the people of America safe to continue.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) criticized the resolution and the underlying bill: “The underlying legislation is a CR to keep the government running until Tuesday. That is true. The Democrats provided no budget this year, and the President has not signed one appropriations bill into law this year. So this legislation and the rule is just another tactic to keep the government running until the majority can figure out its next priority. Well, I assure you it will be all about spending….Republicans want to take spending levels back to 2008, which would save American taxpayers nearly $100 billion in the first year.…This country needs leaders who are willing to make tough financial decisions and fiscal decisions that will bring back our economy, stability, job growth--not just more of the same taxing and spending.”
The House agreed to this resolution by a vote of 184-159. Voting “yea” were 184 Democrats. All 149 Republicans present and 10 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation keeping government programs and agencies operating for three days to prevent the government from shutting down.”