The bill to avoid a government shutdown is barely living after a rule to needed to set up debate on the bill passed by a single vote.
The vote on the rule was 214-212 in favor of passage. All Democrats and sixteen Republicans nearly killed the bill by voting against it.
The Hill documented the drama on the floor,
That left Republicans to approve the rule on their own. For several minutes, there were more “nay” votes than “yes” votes by 210-213. Then, for a moment, it was tied at 213-213.
It was at that point Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) intervened. Fellow lawmakers and reporters in the gallery could see Boehner personally lobbying conservatives who voted against the rule to switch their votes.
One of the lawmakers who switched was Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who lost his primary earlier this year and won’t be returning in the new Congress.
Votes on rules are typically a formality, but for several minutes, lawmakers cast their gaze at the gallery listing of votes as many wondered whether the rule would fail.
That outcome could have derailed the entire bill and raised the risk of a government shutdown.
Debate on final passage of the bill is happening right now. What is clear is that the easy passage that Boehner has been promising is not going to happen. If Democrats and Republicans both stay fractured, this legislation is going to have to sneak through passage.
If the bill fails today, House Republicans have no backup plan, and the government will shut down. Mitch McConnell claimed that the era of government crisis was over, but here we are, hours before a government shutdown, trapped in a crisis.
Nothing has changed, and the country can expect chaos once Republicans take control of the Senate.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association