Stopgap Spending Bill Passed
September 23, 2011 by Sam Rolley
A 219-203 vote, just after midnight Friday, pushed a new spending bill through the U.S. House of Representatives that allows the Federal government to operate past Sept. 30.
The bill has remained controversial over the past several weeks as embattled House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took flak from both sides of the aisle while attempting to get it passed. House Democrats were leery of new Republican measures in the bill pairing $3.65 billion in funding for disaster relief with a $1.5 billion spending cut to the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, which offers loans to car manufacturers to encourage the production of energy-efficient cars.
Among many Republicans, the concern has been the level of domestic spending agreed to in August — and reflected in the bill — which is more than the GOP’s budget resolution had allowed for the coming year. Boehner was able to convince all but 24 Republicans. A closed-door party meeting Thursday afternoon was described as a “call to arms” and bid to bring “the team” back together, according to POLITICO.
The difficulty passing the recent bill is representative of deep divisions in the House over how lawmakers should continue to fund Federal programs while the government is broke. Stopgap spending bills are necessary because the House and Senate have stalemated over how to fund government through the whole year. Without the short-term measures to buy time for further negotiations, the government will shut down at month’s end.