Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

House Passes First 3 Mini-CRs, Daring Senate to Act

House Republicans on Wednesday night succeeded in passing three measures to reopen various parts of the government, following a failure to approve them on Tuesday.

GOP lawmakers also voted to override, 230-194, a Democratic attempt to force a vote on a “clean” short-term continuing resolution that would have put moderate Republicans on the record — and potentially would have proved that there were enough votes for a policy-rider-free CR to pass the chamber.

“You know if we had the vote tonight, it would pass,” shouted House Budget Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen in opposition to the ruling that the Maryland Democrat’s motion to recommit was out of order because it was not germane.

Though the bill to cover operations in the District of Columbia passed by voice vote, votes on a bill to fund the National Institutes of Health and one to fund national parks, monuments and museums fell mostly along party lines, passing 254-171 and 252-173, respectively.

On the national parks bill, Rep. Don Young of Alaska was the only Republican to vote against the measure, while 23 Democrats voted for it.

But Senate Democrats have indicated those proposals will not pass the upper chamber. House and Senate Democrats have been united around the idea that the House GOP’s mini-CR strategy is no substitute for a “clean” CR to fund the whole government, which has been shuttered since Tuesday.

Republicans, however, hope passage of the NIH and national parks bills will force Democrats to go on record against funding popular government programs.

Republicans were particularly aggressive on Wednesday in reinforcing that narrative after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was asked by a CNN reporter, “If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?”

“Why would we want to do that?” Reid replied, in an attempt to make the point that all government programs were important. He later clarified in an interview with radio host Bill Press that, “the whole answer is this: Why would we want to have the House of Representatives, John Boehner, cherry-pick what stays open and what should be closed.”

Still, Republicans pounced.

“It’s disgraceful for Sen. Reid to deny cancer patients … just because he wants to score some political points,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise of Louisiana on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not too late for the Senate majority leader to have a change of heart.”

“Stop holding people hostage,” Scalise said, reclaiming a talking point of Democrats.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the House’s third-highest-ranking Democrat, said at a press conference that “kids with cancer” should not be used as “pawns” by the GOP.

  • conservativechick

    You know what’s truly disgusting and frightening? I think that Obama would actually let children die if he thought he could benefit politically.

    • pmorton

      It’s okay, the kid got healthcare coverage through ACA today. He’ll be fine. Now pass a clean CR and everything will be fine. There are more than enough votes in the House and the Senate.

      • Scott Taylor

        No he didn’t. He couldn’t sign up.

    • Valley Forge

      Um, he has. Ever seen the death toll from drone attacks? Although he didn’t really “let” them die so much as give the order to kill them.

    • MarkHeritage

      Obama is the Scarecrow (no brain), Tinman (no heart) and Cowardly Lion (no guts) all rolled into one big Wicked Witch of Washington.

  • ta111

    Sorry you a hole libs, it was reid who said he didn’t give a rats a** about NIH and cancer patients. This is your modern dem party. Choke on it.

    • CT14

      Reid didn’t shut down the government because he doesn’t have the votes.

      Boehner did that. All he has to do is bring the Senate bill to the floor. There are more than enough Republicans wiling to do their jobs and vote to fund the government.

      The GOP holds half of one third of the government. They do not have the votes to repeal the PPACA nor override a veto. In a sane democratic republic, that means you move on to what you can do. You don’t threaten the entire nation because you can’t win fairly. You don’t violate your oaths of office because you and your tea party compatriots only represent 18% of the nation.

      It doesn’t matter how often anyone claims this is a democratic shutdown. A clean CR is sitting there and could be signed at any moment. Not to mention the endless videos of GOP reps and Senator Cruz happily cheering for a shutdown.

      Hostage taking is not how a functional democratic republic functions. Obama finally gets that; Reid finally gets that. A minority does not get to ram their entire agenda through without getting the votes and doing their job.

      Pass the CR and raise the debt limit and get back to legislating.

  • tpaine1

    So House Democrats voted AGAINST re-opening the national parks and monuments, the nation’s capital and funding meat inspectors?? Bury them with it next year GOP, bury them on this vote.

    • CT14

      Pass the clean CR that Boehner’s hold in his cowardly hands and the whole government is open. The votes are there; Boehner’s just scared of the tea party taking his speakership away.

      • tpaine1

        No, the House GOP is doing EXACTLY what we elected them to do – balance the federal budget and get us out of the Democrat’s Great Recession.

  • zeye

    Finally The House is exercising its constitutional duty to authorize spending. The House may only be 1/2 of 1/3 of the three branches of the federal government, but it is 100 percent of the federal government that has authority to fund government operations. And it is finally standing up to the school yard bullies who will take the ball home and not play unless they get 110 percent of what they ask for. Stand strong, Mr. Speaker.

    • Valley Forge

      Exactly, this is a favorite Obama specious argument. When has anyone ever said the President, as one man in one-third of the federal government, should not be dictating foreign policy? Then why is he begrudging the House their constitutional duty.

    • CT14

      What are you talking about? They do not have the votes to pass their agenda. They’ve tried 41 times and failed, so now they are refusing to govern.

      Boehner so supposed to be the Speaker for the country, not the tea party. The are more than enough Republican votes to pass the clean CR if he would bring it to the floor.

      Shutting the government down in a temper tantrum because they don’t have the votes is irresponsible and a violation of their oaths of office.

  • Valley Forge

    Poor Democrats, “We’re supposed to be the ones politicizing kids with cancer!”. In fact they were, just this morning. Now those kids are “pawns” to them.

  • bmh

    Dems: Republicans are so extreme! Either they fund the entire government carte blanche or we will shut it down!

    Republicans: Um, okay, have it your way.

    • MarkHeritage

      I know. YAWN. Republicans are too busy working everyday through Obama’s new America.

  • MarkHeritage

    Liberal Dems have big cities, big banks, big media, big hollywood, big unions, big environmentalists, big abortionists in their corner and they still can’t score the big one. Just too many field goals by the anti-American crowd. Whoops, there goes Ted Cruz on an audible, quarterback draw. See ya in 2016!

    • jcontr20

      You mean winning presidential elections is not winning big?

  • nycguy

    If Boehner brought the clean CR bill to a vote in the House, it would pass. Boehner can single-handedly end this shutdown tonight! Considering this, watching them try to throw Democrats under the bus is even more humorous.

  • valwayne

    Harry Reid today told CNN reporter Dana Bash, on video, that Obama and the Democrat will let little CHILDREN WITH CANCER DIE before they compromise a single inch. See the video tape folks….that’s what he said in response to a question about why they wouldn’t approve funding for the NIH if it would save even one little child with Cancer. He said “Why would we want to do that”? Obama, Reid and the Democrat will let children DIE folks….that’s Obama and that the majority leader of the Senate. They will LET LITTLE CHLDREN WITH CANCER DIE.

    • CT14

      What about little children of furloughed workers?


      The clean CR is in Boehner’s hands. There are more than enough GOP votes to pass it.

      Releasing one hostage gets the country nowhere. Pass the clean CR and release all the hostages, and then get back to work on passing a real budget.

  • jcontr20

    Can someone please explain what is the point of the shutdown? Obamacare keeps rolling and now they are going to open the government one bill at a time. Okay so what was the point?

    • TravisMonitor

      Ask Harry Reid. He wont negotiate with the Republicans and voted down all 3 of the Republican CR proposals.

      It takes 2 to tango and 2 to create a total impasse and dysfunctional Government. Reid and Obama wont compromise and clearly WANT to continue the most painful shutdown possible, as they refuse to even allow partial re-opening funding bills. THAT IS TOTALLY INSANE.

      • johnrhett

        Democrat stooge.

      • CT14

        No, Boehner has the clean CR in his cowardly hands. There are more than enough votes to pass it, should he bring it to the floor.

        If you don’t have the votes, you dont get to dictate the agenda, and the tea party does not have the votes to repeal the PPACA. Holding the country hostage cannot be rewarded: it would be the end of a functional government.

        If you don’t have the votes, then you move on. You don’t shut it down.

    • CT14

      The point is the tea party does not have the votes to repeal the PPACA, so they would rather shut down the government than admit they can’t have their way legally.

      The 80 tea party reps only represent 18% of the US. They can’t ram through their agenda in a legal way, so they have chosen to violate their oaths of office and shut down the government.

      The clean CR Senate bill h in Boehner’s hands and it would pass if he’d bringing to the floor. There is plenty of video evidence that this is exactly what the GOP wanted. Feel free to google it.

      They don’t have the votes, and instead of moving on to what they can do, they’ve shut the government down by refusing to do their jobs.

  • TravisMonitor

    “Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the
    House’s third-highest-ranking Democrat, said at a press conference that
    “kids with cancer” should not be used as “pawns” by the GOP.”


  • johnrhett

    Only Obama can make this shutdown hurt ordinary people. There have been 17 federal government shutdowns since 1976 – how many of them do you remember? Most of them passed without notice because the presidents in office had no interest in hurting people. This president is different.

    • CT14

      They most certainly did hurt people. The last one killed Newt’s political career because people who had been hurt remembered who hurt them.

  • CT14

    The democratic reps need 17 GOP votes to pass a bill. There are 20 republicans willing to vote for a clean CR as of Wednesday.

    All Boehner has to do is bring it to a vote and the shutdown is over and they can go back to doing their jobs and conferencing to pass a budget.

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