Political Headlines September 23, 2011: House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill 219-203 Then Senate Defeats Bill 59-36 — Goverment Shutdown Possibility Looms for October 1


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.



Americans in hard-hit communities are counting on federal disaster relief, and disaster funds will run out as soon as Monday. The House last night passed a responsible measure to prevent this from happening. It is critical that the Senate now pass the bill and send it to the president. — John Boehner

“The bill the House will vote on tonight is not an honest effort at compromise. It fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

House passes temporary spending measure: A day after defeating a virtually identical bill, the U.S. House has passed a temporary spending measure to fund the government through Nov. 18 by a vote of 219 to 203 after Republican leaders included a new spending cut to lure conservative votes. The measure is now on a collision course with the Democratic-led Senate, which believes the bill does not do enough for disaster victims, raising a new specter of a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Senate defeats short-term measure to fund government: Early Friday afternoon, the Senate defeated, 59 to 36, a spending bill to fund the government through Nov. 18.
With both chambers scheduled to begin a week-long recess later Friday, the next step on the funding resolution remains unclear. The Federal Emergency Management Agency could run out of funding as early as Monday, and the resolution currently keeping the federal government open is set to expire on Sept. 30.
The House had passed the bill, 219 to 203, in the early hours on Friday morning after an earlier failure.


  • House passes measure to avoid government shutdown, but Senate won’t: The House of Representatives early Friday morning passed in a vote of 219-203 a continuing resolution to fund the government and avoid a looming shutdown after the first attempt to pass a resolution failed. But Senate Democrats are strongly opposed to the new measure.
    Democrats argue the new resolution includes inadequate disaster funds for FEMA, and they oppose spending cuts to programs they say are necessary to stimulate the economy.
    The Senate voted to table the resolution 59-36. Reid has scheduled a vote for Monday evening…. – AP, 9-23-11
  • House approves spending measure opposed by Senate; shutdown possible: Washington lurched toward another potential government shutdown crisis Friday, as the House approved a Republican-authored short-term funding measure designed to keep government running through Nov. 18…. – WaPo, 9-23-11
  • House approves funding bill; Senate passage in doubt: The measure would avert a government shutdown by funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency and drawing money away from a green vehicle program championed by Democrats…. – LAT, 9-23-11
  • House passes funding bill but conflict looms: Working past midnight, the Republican House narrowly approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the government operating past Sept. 30 but inviting new conflict with the Democratic Senate over emergency disaster aid and proposed cuts from alternative … – Politico, 9-23-11
  • Boehner works to rally House conservatives: GOP leaders in the House were working feverishly Thursday afternoon to persuade conservatives in their own party to reverse their opposition to a short-term funding measure identical or nearly identical to one they rejected…. – WaPo, 9-23-11
  • Senate Blocks House Spending Bill to Set Up Showdown: The Senate voted Friday morning to reject the House’s stopgap spending bill, less than twelve hours after the House’s Republican leaders had forced it through on their second try.
    The Senate vote was 59 to 36 to table the House bill, effectively killing it. Some conservative Republicans joined in rejecting the measure.
    The House, in the wee hours of Friday morning, had passed its latest version of a stopgap spending bill after rejecting on Wednesday a nearly identical version of the legislation, which is needed to keep the government open after Sept. 30 and to provide assistance to victims of natural disasters. The House vote was 219 to 203. NYT, 9-23-11
  • Senate rejects the House stop-gap spending bill. Is a government shutdown avoidable?: With near permanent brinksmanship the new normal, Congress headed into votes Friday to try to avert a government shutdown that is slated to occur on Oct. 1 if a continuing resolution bill is not passed…. – CS Monitor, 9-23-11
  • Senate blocks House disaster aid bill: The Democratic-led Senate blocked a House-passed bill on Friday that would provide disaster aid and keep government agencies open, escalating the parties’ latest showdown over spending and highlighting the raw partisan rift…. – USA Today, 9-23-11
  • Senate Delays Spending Bill, Leaving FEMA at Risk: The Senate voted to put aside a short-term spending bill that ties disaster-relief funding to cuts in Democratic-backed programs aiding the auto industry, leaving government funding unsettled…. – WSJ, 9-23-11
  • Spending bill fails: The Senate on Friday, 59 to 36, defeated a GOP-authored short-term funding measure designed to keep the government running through mid-November, ratcheting up the pressure on party leaders…. – WaPo, 9-23-11
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