House of Representatives Building and the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. / Ron Cogswell / January 18, 2013 / CC BY 2.0
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a bill to extend government funding through February 16, 2018. The bill passed by a margin of 230 to 197 with four members not voting.
The bill contained amendments which fund several other federal programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and place a two-year moratorium on two Obamacare related taxes: the 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices and the tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans. Importantly, the bill does contain language related to the Obama-era policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Tom O’Halleran: Nay
In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, O’Halleran points to the lack of bipartisan, long-term solutions to several key issues as being at the crux of his opposition to the temporary spending bill. The letter specifies several specific issues, including “funding for our military and domestic programs, disaster relief, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers, and to protect DREAMers.”
“It is clear at this point that Congressional leaders are no closer to securing bipartisan solutions, despite ample opportunity to forge consensus. We see no evidence that yielding more time will result in a process that allows us to resolve these issues,” the letter explains.
Congressman O’Halleran pledged to give up his salary if the government shuts down. Members of Congress continue to be paid during a government shutdown. After the last government shutdown in 2013, several members of Congress donated the income they earned during that time to charity. In the press release, O’Halleran failed to say exactly how he would forgo his salary if the government shuts down.
Martha McSally: Yea
Congresswoman McSally voted in favor of the temporary spending bill. In a tweet, McSally said she voted for the bill in order to ensure that the military would continue to receive pay.
“I dare anyone who voted against this funding bill to head to Afghanistan, Iraq or South Korea on the next plane, look our deployed troops in the eye & explain why they aren’t going to get paid while their families back home wonder how they are going to pay for food or rent,” the Congresswoman said in a tweet.
While military personnel are not furloughed as other non-essential federal employees are in a government shutdown, they do not receive pay. In addition, some Veteran’s benefits would be unavailable.
McSally has said that the current government shutdown crisis is manufactured by Senate Democrats because of the debate over the Obama-era policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“There’s a fake deadline created by the Democrats holding them hostage, and while our troops are over there risking their lives for us, these guys are dicking around — excuse my language — trying to come up with some issue that’s not even a top 20 priority of the American people,” McSally said in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
Raul Grijalva: Nay
Congressman Grijalva voted against the bill to fund the government through mid-February.
In December when Congress was debating a temporary funding bill, Grijalva’s office disparaging the series of bills that have provided short-term funding for the federal government and laid the blame for any government shutdown squarely at the feet of Congressional Republicans.
“The Republicans in Congress hold the numerical power to pass the continuing resolution without one Democrat voting for it. Any potential scenario where the government shuts down rests in their hands,” said Grijalva. “Despite repeated attempts by Democrats towards creating a bi-partisan continuing resolution that incorporates what the majority of Americans want, Republicans have rejected all efforts. For Republicans, passing short-term continuing resolutions every couple of months may seem like good governance, but for the rest of America, it means placing programs like CHIP, community health centers, veterans funding, and emergency disaster relief in limbo.”
Paul Gosar: Nay
Congressman Gosar voted against the continuing resolution to fund the government.
When asked in an interview on CNN before the vote, Gosar said that he would support a bill to fund the government if it did not contain a provision related to the Obama-era policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“From this standpoint, I think there’s something out there that can be achieved, but I find it very interesting that we’ve got Democrats that are holding hostage of a budget that’s really unrelated and should be decoupled with DACA,” said Gosar. “So I think there’s a deal to be made there and I think it’s time that we break the camel’s back in regards to coupling issues that are not related to the budget and our military’s prowess and readiness and men and women in harm’s way. ”
Although the funding bill passed by the House did not contain language related to DACA, Gosar seemed to reference DACA in a tweet explaining his vote.
“I voted against the CR tonight because I will not, and will never, support an amnesty deal,” tweeted the congressman.
In an interview with C-SPAN week before the vote, Gosar suggested that President Donald Trump could make “everything an essential service” so that the government “goes on as it will.”
Andy Biggs: Nay
Congressman Biggs voted against the spending bill. A member of the House Freedom Caucus, Biggs said that he wanted a longer-term solution to military spending in order to vote for the bill.
The House Freedom Caucus is a group of 30 hardline conservatives. The Caucus has been vocal in its opposition to any extension of DACA and was on the fence about the short-term spending bill recently passed by the House.
Ultimately, some members of the Caucus including Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC11) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA06) voted in favor of the continuing resolution to fund the government.
Ruben Gallego: Nay
Congressman Gallego voted against the bill to fund the government through mid-February.
In a tweet, Gallego said, “This bill has no chance in the Senate. The GOP needs to get serious.”
Gallego has been highly critical of Congressional Republicans and has continually placed the blame for a government shutdown at their feet.
In response to a President Trump’s tweet that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program should not be included in the continuing resolution to fund the government, Gallego tweeted from his personal account: “CHIP can be voted on anytime it has nothing to do with keeping the government. Republicans just took millions of kids hostage for months to use them as leverage.”
David Schweikert: Yea
Congressman Schweikert joined Congresswoman McSally in voting in favor of the temporary spending bill to keep the government open. They were the only two Representatives from Arizona to do so.
In an interview with KTAR, Schweikert said that he was frustrated with the Senate including the fact that the spending bill required 60 votes to end cloture and avoid a filibuster.
Although he said that he didn’t believe the government would shut down, the congressman pointed out that much of the federal government will continue to function during a shutdown.
“If we were to actually go into a government shutdown … only about 18 percent of government goes into slowdown,” Schweikert explained. “The rest of the government is considered essential.”
Kyrsten Sinema: Nay
Congresswoman Sinema voted against the continuing resolution to fund the government for the next four weeks.
After the vote, Sinema’s office released a statement saying that the continuing resolution was “not a real solution” and calling on Congress to “stop acting like children and sit down together to solve our problems.”
“Since October of last year, Congress has wasted time on temporary budgets and half-fixes, and our good, important work gets pushed to the side,” Sinema said in the statement. “Meanwhile, Arizona families work hard every day to take care of their families and put food on their tables. They worry that their kids won’t have better lives than they had, and they deserve government that works for them, not against them.”