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The U.S. Capitol on June 28.
The U.S. Capitol on June 28.Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images, file

As Congress prevents a shutdown, Republicans balk for odd reasons

On the vote to prevent a shutdown, one House Republican helped negotiate the terms of the bill, but rejected it anyway for reasons she couldn’t explain.


No one on Capitol Hill seemed to think a government shutdown was likely this week, and sure enough, a stopgap spending package is on its way to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature. NBC News reported a couple of hours ago:

The House passed legislation to keep the government running until Dec. 16, a final act of business before both chambers of Congress recess for six weeks until the midterm election. The Friday vote was 230-201, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to pass it.

The legislation wasn’t exactly controversial. The stopgap measure — technically called a “continuing resolution” (or “CR”) — keeps government operations going until mid-December, while providing additional resources for Ukraine and domestic disaster relief.

A day earlier, the Senate voted 72 to 25 to pass the same bill, and while most Republicans opposed it, 22 GOP senators supported — which by 2022 standards, wasn’t bad.

The House tally was different in that Republicans in the lower chamber appeared far more likely to reject the bill for knee-jerk reasons. Only 10 GOP House members broke ranks, and most of them won’t be returning to Capitol Hill next year.

One of my favorite anecdotes from this afternoon came by way of Politico, which asked Rep. Kay Granger, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, if she could explain why she voted against the bill she’d helped negotiate.

“No,” the Texas lawmaker replied, “I can’t.”

Also notable was Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell, who boasted just minutes before the vote that said she was “proud to have worked across the aisle” to secure funding under the bill that would “compensate people hurt” by a fire in her home state of New Mexico.

As The Washington Post noted, Herrell then stuck with her party and voted against it anyway, complaining that the stopgap measure included “reckless spending.”

Once Biden signs the bill, the government will be funded through Dec. 16, at which point the political world gets to do this again. Watch this space.

Update: In fairness, it's worth emphasizing that while Granger's response to Politico stood out as curious, the Texas Republican was more detailed with Roll Call, saying the bill she'd helped negotiate “did nothing” to address border security, energy, and inflation.