The Hill: House passes bill to avert government shutdown in March

By Pete Kasperowicz – 03/06/13 02:03 PM ET

The House on Wednesday approved legislation that would avert a government shutdown in a 267-151 vote, despite opposition from Democrats who complained that the measure locks in the $85 billion sequester.

Fifty-three Democrats supported the bill, likely because it will help avoid a shutdown. Fourteen Republicans voted against it.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to make additions to the bill and try to send it back to the House before March 27, when funding for the government runs out. The bill would keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.


The vote came after a 212-197 vote on the rule for the bill, which 16 Republicans opposed. That 15-vote margin was extremely narrow; 17 Democrats didn’t vote on the rule and might have tipped that result if they had.

The debate and vote show that Democrats will continue to argue for an immediate solution to the sequester. 

However, Republicans argued that the Democratic Senate has failed to pass any bill at all to replace the spending cuts and that President Obama has not put forward any solution other than one that includes new tax increases.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said that, in the meantime, Congress must deal with the reality of the sequester. He and other Republicans cast the bill as one that would keep the government running while this debate plays out.

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