The GOP-led US House, this week, passed ANOTHER short term funding measure for the federal government:
Several freshmen Republicans in the House of Representatives who came into office kicking and screaming about reigning in the national debt and cutting spending caved to political pressures Thursday and voted for a continuing resolution to keep government funding at its current level to avoid a lame-duck showdown after the November election.
“I voted for it because we have to be adults,” says Florida Republican Rep. Allen West. “We want to govern and we want to take care of our responsibilities and that is the most important thing. I am not going to come up here and cut my nose just to spite my face.”
The House voted 329-91 for a six-month continuing resolution to maintain government spending at $1.047 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office estimated this summer that Congress could fund all current programs at $1.039 trillion, but Congress went ahead and filled the $8 billion gap, increasing funding to all programs across the board.
The House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers admitted the legislation was less than ideal.
“This bill essentially punts on the core duty of Congress to complete its annual appropriations and budget work,” Rogers said in a release.
Freshman Republican Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry was among the junior lawmakers who did not back down. He says the funding level was simply too high for him to vote yes.
“I don’t like the numbers, I agreed to the Ryan budget,” Landry says. “And based upon the events that have transpired over the last 24 hours around the globe, I don’t think it sends a great message to continue to fund Egypt.”
Egypt currently receives nearly $1.5 billion from the U.S. in foreign aid, with only Israel receiving a bigger chunk of change.
Landry calls attention to another irony of the vote Thursday. Ryan’s own budget calls for $19 billion less funding than the resolution members passed, putting the vice presidential nominee in an uncomfortable spot by voting for the resolution.
Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller says while he’s upset freshman Republicans voted for the continuing resolution, he is not surprised.
“This entire Congress, the freshman Republicans have been just like the Republicans of old,” Keller says. “They ran claiming they were going to change Washington and instead we see today some of them joining with the same kick-the-can-down-the-road mentality that got us in this mess in the first place.”
Yep, that’s what the folks back home were screaming for: continued funding for that state of anarchy called Egypt. The folks over at Cato were not exactly thrilled with all of this:
Yesterday, the House passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded for the next six months. Republicans and Democrats were eager to avoid a budget fight—and possibly a government shutdown—with little more than a month to go before the elections. With that potential distraction out of the way, the two sides can now focus on convincing voters that their brand of big government is the superior choice.
Politico has a good breakdown of the CR’s contents. Here are a couple of snippets:
[The continuing resolution] restores the higher spending targets set in the Budget Control Act—and with such haste and pique—that billions will go out without any distinction between the merits of different programs. Labor, health, and education spending that’s so often targeted for cuts by the GOP will grow by close to $1 billion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission budget, the bane of anti-regulatory forces, inches up again, albeit far less than the White House requested…
The new top line for non-emergency appropriations will be $1.047 trillion, an $8 billion increase over what the Congressional Budget Office estimates is the current rate of spending… But in their desire to keep the bill simple—and move fast—Republicans opted to distribute most of the increase, $5.9 billion, through a mechanical formula that automatically ups most accounts by 0.612 percent.
As Roll Call noted earlier in the week, the CR vote represented a test for Republican freshmen, a.k.a., the “Tea Party Class”:
The defining narrative of this Congress has been deficit reduction, pushed mostly by an anti-government-spending class of 87 freshman House Republicans. But as November inches closer, Members will have to balance their promises to slash spending against the reality that a shutdown could be an irreversible gamble in their bid to win back the Senate and White House. For his part, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) seems optimistic, having recently said the group has “matured.”
[…] [O]nly 28 of the 87 Republican freshmen—32 percent—voted against the CR. (A “yes” means they voted against the CR.) I guess that means that, per John Boehner, those 28 members have maturity issues.
Of course, Second District congresswoman Renee Ellmers — the Tar Heel State’s only freshman — voted right in lockstep with Boehner and the leadership in in supporting the CR. The folks to the south of us — in that other Carolina — actually held firm to their campaign promises.