The Washington Times - March 15, 2011, 05:20PM

House Republicans and Democrats passed a short term continuing resolution that would fund the government for three weeks. The CR passed the House 271 to 158. House Republicans who opposed the CR could only garner 54 votes and more Democrats voted against the measure than Republicans. The continuing resolution would cut $6 billion in federal spending by the end of the week.

However, 85 Democrats helped to pass the measure and House Democratic Minority Whip Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, who voted for the resolution, criticized Republicans who could not unite completely on support for the short term CR. 

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“This is a lousy way to run a railroad,” Mr. Hoyer said. “We are trying to run the largest enterprise in the world in two-week segments. This ought to be the last of this type.”

However, House Democrats failed to ever pass a budget when their party controlled the House from January 2006  until early January of 2011. Republicans went after Democrats for only funding the federal government through continuing resolutions, thereby placing the current Republican controlled House and Democratic controlled Senate in the present gridlock over budgetary spending.

In June of 2010, The Washington Times reported that Mr. Hoyer, then as Majority Leader, refused to debate and pass a budget and punted the issue back to the bipartisan debt reduction commission:

The House and Senate don’t always agree on a final budget compromise, but the House itself has never failed to pass its own version of the spending blueprint.

The decision leaves much of the rest of Democrats’ agenda in doubt and drew ridicule from Republicans, who pointed out Mr. Hoyer himself has deemed passing a budget a basic test of the ability to govern.

The Maryland Democrat, though, said that this year there’s no point.

“It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December,” Mr. Hoyer said at a speech sponsored by Third Way, a progressive think tank, in which he also warned tax increases will be needed to solve the country’s long-term fiscal imbalance. 

I asked Mr. Hoyer about Democrats inability to pass a budget themselves. “This wouldn’t have passed if the Democrats hadn’t helped,” he only responded.  

The Senate is expected to take up the Continuing Resolution and pass the three week funding measure.