Waiting for Obama

Waiting for Obama

Despite grumblings from the far-right side of the House, the chamber passed a second continuing resolution Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 271-158, with 54 Republicans and 104 Democrats joining together to oppose it.

Published March 15, 2011

Despite grumblings from the far-right side of the House, the chamber passed a second continuing resolution Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 271-158, with 54 Republicans and 104 Democrats joining together to oppose it.

The measure blends $6 billion in budget cuts with enough funds money to keep the government running for an additional three weeks. The bill moves to the Senate, which is likely to clear it for the president's signature later this week.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) is one of the Democrats who voted no. “I could not vote for another short-term and shortsighted spending bill presented by the Republican leadership today,” he said in a statement released by his office. “It is time that we all come to the table with an agreement to keep the government working and functioning. Funding the government in short cycles makes little sense and leaves the American people in limbo. The American people do not deserve this.”

President Obama has said repeatedly that funding government in two- and three-week increments is a bad idea. But White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement after the vote saying the three-week stopgap measure gives congressional lawmakers some breathing room to negotiate a compromise bill.

“There is no disagreement on whether to cut spending to put us on a path to live within our means, but we can’t sacrifice critical investments that will help us out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competitors to win the future.  We have already met Republicans halfway, and we are optimistic that Congress can get this done,” Carney said.

But Republicans say they’re waiting for Obama.

“The president has yet to truly weigh in on where he stands, and has an obligation to this country to do so,” said Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). “House Republicans cannot negotiate with ourselves, and we are demanding that Democrats and the administration get serious about cutting spending and show us their plan.”

Republicans are insistent on steep spending cuts along with numerous policy provisions, including a ban on federal funding for Planned Parenthood and a measure to strike money to bankroll implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, writes the Associated Press.

Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Written by Joyce Jones

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