The U.S. House voted in favor of a continuing resolution that would avoid a federal government shutdown and cut $6 billion in federal spending. The vote was 271-158. The House and Senate are working to pass the measure before Saturday in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Minnesota’s delegation split its vote. Democrats Collin Peterson and Tim Walz joined Republicans John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Chip Cravaack in voting for the bill.
Republican Michele Bachmann joined Democrats Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison in voting against it.
Bachmann says she voted against the bill because it didn’t defund the federal health care law.
“We have learned that $105 billion was appropriated when ObamaCare was signed into law.” Bachmann said in a statement. “That means the bureaucracy and infrastructure for this government-takeover of health care are already being established. There is no time to delay. We must defund ObamaCare now, and this CR makes no such attempt.”
Paulsen said he voted for the bill because it focused on “belt tightening.”
“For too long now, hard working Minnesotans have been tightening their belts and waiting for Washington to do the same,” said Rep. Paulsen in a statement. “Today, my colleagues and I took another step forward in curing Washington’s spending problem and removing the barriers to job creation. However, we cannot continue to limp along two to three weeks at a time; we need leaders of both parties to put an end to short-term thinking and work to pass long-term budget solutions.”
I’ll post statements from the other members of the delegation if/when they come in.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison told MPR’s Brett Neely he voted against the continuing resolution because he disagrees that spending cuts will improve the economy.
“If you want to cut the deficit, you gotta increase jobs,” Ellison said. “You got to increase people working, you need people out there productive and paying taxes, not increasing the lines of the unemployed.”
Cravaack told MPR that he came close to voting against the bill, which would have lead to a government shutdown, but decided to give Senate Democrats and the White House more time to reach a deal with House Republicans.
“I just kept on thinking about the long term viability of keeping the government running,” Cravaack said. “So now it’s in the Senate’s hands, it’s in the President’s hands.”
Peterson told MPR that several of the Democrats who voted for the bill are interested in cutting government as long as it’s fair.
“And our position is, you know, a bunch of us Democrats, that we’ll work with them as long it’s reasonable ,” Peterson said. “And it’s the same thing, as long as it’s sensible proportional, everyone is feeling the pain, we’ll work with them . ”
Here’s the statement released by Kline:
“For too long, leaders in Washington have allowed government spending to spiral out of control, racking up record deficits and an unprecedented $14.1 trillion in national debt. That is why House Republicans passed legislation last month to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year while cutting $100 billion in non-defense spending. Last week, we voted to save taxpayers $8 billion by beginning to shut down the TARP bailout program. And earlier this year, we voted to repeal and defund the job-killing health care bill. I look forward to continuing our efforts to get our nation’s spending under control.”
MPR’s Brett Neely contributed to this report.