Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner reassured
Americans Thursday that lawmakers will come together to pass a temporary
measure to keep the federal government running, saying there will be no
government shutdown. The day before, the Republican-controlled House
defeated a continuing resolution to fund the government, meaning that
Boehner has to draw up a new bill that can also win approval in the
Public opinion polls show that Americans are tired of the repeated
budget dramas that have played out in Washington during the past year,
threatening a partial federal government shutdown in April and narrowly
averting a potential default on the national debt in August. The
Republican leadership in the House introduced a temporary spending
measure on Wednesday that they hoped would be passed quickly, so that
lawmakers could leave town on Friday for a planned recess.
But 48 members of Speaker Boehner's Republican Party joined with all but
six House Democrats to defy their leadership and defeat the temporary
spending measure. The defeat of the bill raised the specter of another
budget showdown, but Boehner said lawmakers will come to an agreement
before government funding runs out on September 30.
"Listen, there is no threat of government shutdown. Let's just get this
out there," Boehner said.
Boehner rejected any assertion that the defeat of the spending bill
means he is not in control of his own Republican caucus.
"I understood what the risk was yesterday. But why not put the bill on
the floor and let the members speak, and they did," Boehner said.
The measure would have funded the federal government through November
18, with the cuts in government spending agreed to in the debt ceiling
negotiations. But many Republicans, especially conservative and
libertarian Tea Party supporters, wanted deeper cuts. Democrats opposed
a provision that would have required the costs of disaster assistance to
Americans to be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.
In the Senate, lawmakers are waiting for the House to pass a spending
bill, so that they can vote on it. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin
offered a few words of advice to Speaker Boehner on how to get a
continuing resolution, or CR, passed in both chambers.
by the agreement we reached just a few weeks ago. Pass a clean CR and
the bipartisan disaster relief bill that we have already passed in the
Senate. It is really a pretty simple approach," Durban said.
Asked when lawmakers would get a spending measure passed and be able to
leave for their recess, Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid said
normally it takes a few days to get a measure passed, but that it might
be faster this time.
"Always remember, because you have seen it as often as I have, magic
occurs on Thursday night. So we will wait and see," Reid said.
Analysts say that Americans weary of partisan budget wrangling are
hoping lawmakers will find some "magic" to come to an agreement on
keeping the U.S. government running past September 30.