Open for Business: House Sends CR to White House as Gov’t Shutdown Averted

After a tit-for-tat squabble over the past couple of weeks, the House of Representatives has put aside its differences and easily passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government open for business. The move also buys Congressional leaders six more weeks to negotiate a deal to fund the government through the end of the FY12 before the next threat of a Shutdown Showdown reaches Capitol Hill.

In a strong bipartisan vote, the bill was approved 352-66 this afternoon; 182 Republicans and 170 Democrats voted to pass the measure, which funds the federal government through Nov. 18.

But the opposition to the bill wasn’t so evenly split, with 53 Republicans voting against the bill and just 13 Democrats opposing its passage.

Of the 53 Republicans voting against the measure, 25 are freshmen members — a little less than one-third of the freshman Republican Class, which boasts 87 members.

Having already passed the Senate last week, the bill now heads to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

“This common-sense measure will cut government spending for the second year in a row under a Republican-led House, ensure critical funding is available for Americans affected by natural disasters, and keep lawmakers focused on the top priority of the American people: jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement following the bill’s passage. “I’m pleased to see such a large bipartisan majority come together to pass this measure, and hope we can continue to find common ground – in Congress and with the White House – on removing government obstacles to private-sector job growth.”

One House Republican vying for the GOP presidential nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., missed votes once again today. Bachmann has not voted since Aug. 1, before the August recess, when she voted against increasing the debt limit.

The other House Republican seeking the nomination, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, returned to the Capitol today to cast a NAY vote.

The House had previously passed an alternative measure to fund the government through Nov. 18, but it was rejected by the Senate in favor of a bill without offsets to increases in disaster relief funding. The bill that passed today did not include those offsets, or the supplemental disaster relief funding for FY2011, since FEMA later discovered enough cash to keep the agency open through the end of last week, when the fiscal year ended.

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