Vote on Spending Bill DelayedDecember 6, 2017
House Republican leaders have decided to delay by one day a vote on a short-term spending bill to try to resolve a dispute among House Republicans over the bill’s length.
Over the weekend, House Republican leaders had unveiled a two-week spending bill that would extend the government’s funding through Dec. 22. However, the House Freedom Caucus has been pushing to pass a three-week spending bill to Dec. 30, which they said would give them more leverage than right before the Christmas holidays. But Republican leaders have pushed to stick with the Dec. 22 date, saying that would put them in position to pass another short-term spending bill before Christmas that could carry other provisions still being negotiated, including a two-year budget deal and disaster relief.
The House Rules Committee had planned to meet on Dec. 5 to prepare a short-term bill to fund the government through Dec. 22. But the panel reversed course and announced it will instead meet on Dec. 6 instead. That would indicate a Dec. 7 vote on the spending measure, bringing lawmakers closer to the Friday—Dec. 8 deadline.
Most recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) indicated that the length of the spending bill, or continuing resolution, was still under discussion within the House GOP. And while he predicted that the spending bill would secure 218 votes, the threshold for passage when the House has no vacancies, he didn’t know whether Republicans would be able to pass the bill on their own.
Yet, with Republicans divided, it is not truly clear whether Republican leaders have enough votes to pass the short-term spending bill. House Democrats have been noncommittal about whether they would vote for it, putting the onus on Republican leadership to come up with votes.
Even if Republicans can get 218 of their own members to pass a spending patch this week on their own, it is still unclear whether it can pass in the Senate. At least eight Senate Democrats would need to vote to break a filibuster. Senate Democrats have not yet indicated their position.