March 15, 2011
Senate Fails to Pass H.R. 1 & Senate FY 2011 Funding Alternative
On March 9, the Senate defeated both H.R. 1 and the Senate fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding alternative to H.R. 1. The vote for H.R. 1 was 44 to 56 and did not receive a single Democratic vote. Three members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus also opposed the bill: Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
The final vote for the Senate funding alternative was 42 to 58. The alternative failed to attract Republican support. Ten Democrats and one independent, a mix of centrists and liberals, voted against the Senate alternative: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Jim Webb (D-VA).
Congress will pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR) this week since negotiations have yielded little progress to date on FY 2011. The House of Representatives passed another short-term CR 271-158 on March 15 to allow more time to reach consensus on appropriations levels for the final six and a half months of FY 2011. One hundred eighty-six Republicans and 85 Democrats voted for the extension while 54 Republicans joined 104 Democrats in voting against the short-term CR. The latest short-term CR would keep the federal government running until April 8. The Senate is expected to take up the short-term CR soon.
House conservatives are growing impatient with short-term CRs designed to avoid a government shutdown. The latest CR (and possibly last short-term CR) would be sixth such extension this fiscal year. Senate Democrats have refused to accede to House demands for $57.5 billion in spending cuts for FY 2011 and they have balked at GOP language that would bar the use of funds to implement Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.
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