With just more than a week until the government’s spending authority ends, the House’s continuing resolution failed 195-230 today, as 48 Republicans broke with party leadership to vote down the measure that would have kept the government functioning through mid-November had the Senate passed the same version. The resolution had been expected to pass easily.
Republican opposition was based on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) attachment of $1 billion in disaster relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Irene and other climate disasters, which Republicans, including Cantor, had demanded be offset by spending cuts in other areas. Last week, Cantor promised that no one in the House Republican caucus would hold disaster relief hostage over spending cuts — an assertion that today’s vote has apparently proven false. Democrats opposed the offsets Republicans did find, which targeted funding for energy efficienct vehicles. A bipartisan Senate majority approved $7 billion in disaster relief funds last week.
The House GOP brought the government to the brink of shutdown in April, when a last-minute deal with Democrats ended in a six-month spending bill that expires next week. It appears they’re doing it again.