Only one GOP freshman votes against stopgap spending bill

Only one House Republican freshman voted against a short-term government funding measure Tuesday designed to avoid a government shutdown. 

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a former state assemblyman who was backed by Tea Party activists, was the sole member of the 87 House GOP freshman class to oppose the measure. In a statement, the congressman said that the bill — which cuts $4 billion from last year's spending levels over the next two weeks — does not do enough to reduce spending.

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"I support the efforts of my GOP colleagues to move the budget process along so that we can work toward serious spending reductions," he said. "Unfortunately, this budget cuts spending at the rate of only $133 million/week or $6.95 billion/year. That's four-tenths of one percent of our annual deficit."

Unlike Amash, almost no House freshmen used their vote on the short-term measure to make a statement about bloated federal spending.

The measure had been expected to pass, but many observers have kept a keen eye on freshman Republicans who could break with leadership on a long-term government funding measure that does not, in their eyes., cut enough spending. 

The bill passed Tuesday funds the government through March 18, allowing lawmakers more time to pass a long-term spending bill. One-hundred-four House Democrats joined Republicans in passing it and 96 lawmakers total voted against it.

The House previously passed a bill that would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that would cut $61 billion from 2010 spending levels, but the Senate refused to take it up. No freshman GOPers voted against that bill and only three Republicans opposed it. 

Five other Republicans voted against the short-term bill: Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Steve King (R-Iowa).

Bachmann and King said they voted against the bill because it did not contain language defunding the healthcare law.