In the debate leading up to this procedural vote, Democrats derided Republicans for attempting to "deem" that House-approved budget cuts in H.R. 1 would become law if the Senate fails to act. Several Democrats said this is blatantly unconstitutional.
"Republican's partisan extremism reached a new low this week, with their willingness to ignore some of the most basic fundamentals of our Constitution," said Rep. G.K. ButterfieldG.K. ButterfieldJustices consider redistricting in Virginia, NC La. rep picked to lead Congressional Black Caucus Black Caucus head won't commit in Dems' leadership race MORE (D-N.C.). "I am outraged that Republicans could believe that their job-killing budget could become law with just the approval of the House of Representatives. Every American should be offended by such an extreme, reckless and clearly unconstitutional scheme."
Some, like Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), said Republican plans are appropriate given that it is April Fool's Day. "They're ignoring our founding document, mocking its principles, and attempting to circumvent 222 years of history," he said, adding that Republicans are hoping that H.R. 1 can "just become law, like magic."
Rep. Rob WoodallRob WoodallBill to overturn last Obama regulations heads to House floor Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Lawmakers clash over race claims in Flint aid delay MORE (R-Ga.) defended the measure and said it is designed to put pressure on the White House and Congress to negotiate a spending agreement. "It gives the Senate an opportunity to come out from under its paralyzing inaction and pass H.R. 1, and it says that if the Senate does not, if the Senate fails to act … that Congress will not get paid," Woodall said.
But Senate Republicans have acknowledged that the bill is essentially posturing, because House passage of a bill declaring that H.R. 1 is now law means nothing without Senate approval. Sen. Dan CoatsDan CoatsTrump's Cabinet: What jobs are left to fill Trump narrows secretary of State field to four finalists 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (R-Ind.) said without a broad agreement between the White House and Congress, "we're just whistling in the wind," and Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP eyes big gamble on ObamaCare Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Reid bids farewell to the Senate MORE (R-Tenn.) said no budget would become law without Senate approval.