- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
House passes stopgap bill at Democrats’ spending level
Question of the Day
After fighting all year for a lower spending number, House Republicans reversed course Thursday and passed a bill funding the government at the level Democrats had pushed for all along. The vote that averts the kind of government-shutdown showdowns that have become increasingly frequent.
The 329-91 vote also saw the return of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin congressman has been on the campaign trail for the past month but returned to the House chamber to rousing applause from his Republican colleagues and even a few Democrats.
Mr. Ryan voted for the stopgap spending bill even though the measure breaks the budget he wrote as chairman of the House Budget Committee, allowing $19 billion more in spending in 2013 than he and his fellow Republicans wanted.
He left the chamber without speaking on the measure, but his party’s leaders said they were acting for the sake of bipartisanship in order to head off a shutdown.
“We’ve got bipartisan agreement on this bill. The House, Senate, both parties, and the White House, have signed off on this bill,” said Rep. Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Voting for the bill were 165 Republicans and 164 Democrats, while opposition came chiefly from the GOP. Seventy Republicans voted no, along with 21 Democrats.
Still looming, however, are the automatic “sequestration” cuts to defense and domestic spending scheduled to take effect Jan. 2, according to the terms of last year’s debt deal.
“Spending levels are still too high, and this bill does nothing to address that,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican with whom Mr. Ryan used to side regularly in voting against spending bills.
The bill extends most 2012 spending levels for the first six months of fiscal 2013 at an annualized rate of $1.047 trillion, which works out to an $8 billion increase in discretionary spending.
That was the level set in last year’s debt deal.
But for most of this year, Republicans argued that the number was a top cap, and they fought to lower the level. Mr. Ryan’s budget called for $1.028 trillion in discretionary spending.
Democrats objected to that budget, saying it broke the debt deal, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said as long as the GOP wouldn’t agree to the higher spending number, there was no reason to write a new budget bill or pass any of the dozen annual spending bills.
In Thursday’s vote the GOP conceded on that number — though it comes too late to get the individual spending bills done ahead of Oct. 1, which marks the beginning of fiscal 2013.
“I think it was probably a decision they made to just get it off the table,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
Mr. Ryan’s appearance was highly anticipated. Mrs. Pelosi’s office released a “Welcome back” video pointing to the spending cuts Republicans backed in Mr. Ryan’s budget, while others joked about his brief time back.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole
- Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report
- Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting
- Boehner: No bill on border surge
- Taking Obama to court a long shot but lawsuit not folly, Congress is told
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq