Fiscal Responsibility

Morning Roundup: Embarrassing Setback Edition

A look at this morning’s headlines show divided House Republicans will need to work with Democrats on a bipartisan basis in order to pass a bill to fund the government and provide aid to those affected by recent disasters.

Politico: Vote shows Boehner's lack of control

“House Republicans tried a fresh strategy Wednesday night: Go it alone on a spending bill.”

“The result was an embarrassing setback.”

“Wednesday night’s rank-and-file rebuke of GOP leadership — with 48 Republicans bolting on a temporary spending bill — underscored the fact that the House Republican majority is still struggling to find unity on major spending bills. It also showed they still need Democratic votes to help them govern.”

“The pressure from an angry Speaker John Boehner didn’t work — he even threatened to strip committee assignments. Four dozen Republicans —mostly conservatives — wanted more cuts, and they just said no, creating an uncomfortable scene on the House floor as the funding bill failed on a 195-230 vote. Democrats showed a rare moment of unity in overwhelmingly opposing the continuing resolution, which would keep the government funded through Nov. 18.”

“Now, to prevent a government shutdown, Republicans will have to rewrite the bill and figure out how to get the votes.”

“Republican leadership knew they were heading for trouble when the day began. Tuesday night, they realized they didn’t have the votes, but opted to take it to the floor and try to get the votes Wednesday — and they came up short.”

“That underscores Boehner’s ongoing problem — he can’t rely on Republicans to stand with him if Democrats decide to unify against him.”

Bloomberg: Republican Defections Kill Measure Needed to Avoid Shutdown

“The U.S. House, in a surprise setback to Republican leaders, defeated a spending bill providing $3.65 billion in aid to victims of recent natural disasters and needed to prevent a government shutdown.”

“The vote was the latest evidence of Boehner’s sometimes tenuous grasp on a House stocked with Tea Party-backed freshmen as well as veteran lawmakers determined to cut spending. Many of those who broke ranks in yesterday’s vote were the same ones who forced Boehner to postpone a July 28 vote on his proposal for raising the U.S. debt ceiling while reducing spending.”

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said after yesterday’s vote that to pass the current bill, Republican leaders would have to be more responsive to Democrats. “If they expect our votes, they have to work with us,” Hoyer said.”

NY Times: House Rebukes G.O.P. Leaders Over Spending

House Republican leaders suffered a surprising setback on Wednesday when the House rejected their version of a stopgap spending bill, leaving unclear how Congress will provide money to keep the government open after Sept. 30 and aid victims of a string of costly recent natural disasters.”

The 230-to-195 vote came after fiscally conservative Republicans joined an overwhelming majority of Democrats in opposing the legislation. As it became clear that the bill was going down, a number of Republicans changed their votes from yes to no.”

“The unexpected outcome illustrated how the intense fiscal fights of recent months had transformed the politics of disaster relief, which in the past has typically been rushed out of Congress with strong backing from both parties. Democrats remained nearly united against the measure because they saw the amount of disaster assistance — $3.65 billion — as inadequate, and they objected to the Republicans’ insistence on offsetting some of the cost with cuts elsewhere.”

“The vote also showed the Republican leadership’s continuing struggle to corral the most conservative members of the caucus, as more than 40 Republicans rejected the measure because they did not believe it cut spending enough.”

The House vote sent Republicans scrambling for another approach to passing a bill to keep the government open.”

“With so many conservatives balking at the House bill, Republican leaders said they needed support from Democrats to pass it. But few Democrats were willing to assist the Republican leadership after this summer’s standoff over raising the federal debt limit.”

Washington Post: GOP House leaders rebuked on spending

“The surprise defeat in the House Wednesday of a special funding measure to keep the federal government functioning past Sept. 30 was a sharp rebuke of the GOP leadership that controls the chamber and a testament to the fragility of the majority itself.”

“While it is widely expected that the parties will eventually reach a compromise to avoid a shutdown, Wednesday’s 230-to-195 vote showed what can happen when the GOP majority operates with no more than minimal Democratic support.”

“The failure of the bill was the result of a new solidarity among Democrats on funding issues and old divisions among Republicans on spending reductions.”

GOP leaders were unable to overcome objections from Democrats who believed the bill did not do enough for disaster victims and from conservative Republicans who wanted to use the measure to cut government spending more deeply.”

WSJ: Budget Vote Surprises GOP Leaders

“Dozens of House Republicans broke from their party leaders and joined Democrats to reject a short-term spending bill Wednesday, signaling trouble ahead for House Speaker John Boehner from his rank and file.”

“Republicans voting against the bill—which is needed to fund government operations starting Oct. 1—demanded less spending, while most Democrats were upset at what they called insufficient disaster aid in the measure.”

“The 195-230 defeat suggests that despite his party's control of the chamber, Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio) will confront about 50 conservative defectors on spending bills, potentially forcing him to court Democratic votes. In this case, 48 Republicans voted no.”

“Democrats presented a unified front against the bill, with only six of their members siding with GOP leaders to back the failed legislation.”

“Essentially the same group of Republicans opposed an April bill that averted a government shutdown. They also voted against the recent federal debt-limit deal.”

National Journal: Shutdown? Federal Funding Bill Dies in House

“As Congress wrestles to keep the government funded, a House GOP bill to extend federal funding until Nov. 18 went down to defeat 195-230 Thursday night, in a dispute over money for disaster relief.”

“The bill’s failure was a result of a combination of Democratic and conservative Republican opposition. It marks an embarrassing loss for House leaders, especially House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and a tactical victory for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. It also hands Democrats leverage to push the GOP to yield on disaster funding.”

Roll Calll: House Votes Down Government Funding, Disaster Aid Bill

“The House threw the appropriations process into chaos today, voting down a stopgap funding resolution that conservative Republicans and virtually all Democrats opposed. The vote increases the likelihood that both chambers will encroach on next week’s scheduled recess in order to avert a government shutdown.”

“GOP conservatives and Democrats opposed the CR for different reasons, but the overall result was a repudiation of House Republican leaders, who had pleaded with their rank and file to go along with the measure and avoid a continuation of the spending and budget wars that have defined the 112th Congress.”

“The failure to pass the CR came as a shock, particularly after House Republicans kept their Conference together for the vote on the rule earlier in the afternoon.”

“The bill also went down as a result of House Democrats unifying against it. Only six Democrats backed the bill.”

“Democrats opposed the House CR primarily over the level of funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The House CR included $3.6 billion for FEMA disaster funding, of which roughly $1 billion would be offset by cutting funds for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, which helps the auto industry retool or expand factories to produce fuel-efficient technology.”

“At a press conference today, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, ‘This money that they’re cutting, which deals with making sure we have advanced technology for automobiles that are competitive in the global market and that will create jobs here at home now, is a bad policy in and of itself.’”

CQ: Conservative Bloc Again Stumps Boehner & Co.

“In what has become a familiar scenario, Speaker John A. Boehner faces another test of his ability to lead his conference on issues that require tempering the House GOP’s hard-line fiscal conservatism.”

“To rebound from Wednesday’s setback on a stopgap spending bill, Boehner and his leadership team will have to yield to Democrats on the funding of disaster relief or try to satisfy dissident Republicans, who want deeper across-the-board spending cuts.”

“Most evident is the difficult task Boehner faces in uniting a conference dominated by a conservative, tea party-backed faction.”