House Passes Two-Week CR; Dodging Gov’t Shutdown Now Up To Senate

By John R Parkinson

Mar 1, 2011 5:09pm

 ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports: 

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday afternoon to cut about $4 billion from government spending, passing a two-week extension to the continuing resolution and — for now –- will likely avoid a government shutdown. 

The bill easily passed by a bipartisan count of 335-91, with more than 100 House Democrats voting to approve the measure just days before the current spending package is set to expire on Friday. 

The spending bill cuts about $1.24 billion from eight programs that President Obama had proposed be cut from his 2012 budget, while also eliminating $2.7 billion in earmarks. The bill also funds government operations through midnight on March 18.

As ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reported earlier Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has signaled the Senate will vote on the House’s two-week CR in the next 48 hours in order to buy the House and Senate more time to work out a compromise on a long-term solution.

“These [cuts] are our programs, so we’ll pass this and then we’ll look to funding the government on a long-term basis,” Reid, D-Nev., told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The sooner we get this short-term funding of the government done, the quicker we can move to a long-term CR.”

104 Democrats – including the House’s No. 2 Democrat, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen – joined the Republican majority in supporting the bill. 

Six Republicans – Reps. Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Justin Amash, Louie Gohmert, and Walter Jones – voted against the short-term spending package. 

King, a proponent of health care repeal who voted for the longer CR, tweeted moments before the vote on his Twitter page @SteveKingIA that he would “vote ‘NO’ on the two week CR because some of ObamaCare is funded by it and the Pence amendment to block Planned Parenthood is not in.” 

The House had previously passed a seven-month spending bill Feb. 19, which blocked funding to implement health care reform and also banned federal funding from Planned Parenthood, but Senate Democrats have been defiant, resisting calls to bring the long-term measure to the floor for a vote. 

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said it’s now up Senate Democrats to “cut spending and reduce the size of government for small businesses to create jobs.” 

“With the passage of this short-term measure, the House has now sent two funding resolutions to the Senate, yet we are still waiting for a response,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “I’m hopeful President Obama and Senate Democrats will join us in making the difficult decisions necessary to get our country back on track.”

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