The House narrowly passed legislation on Friday that calls for a House-passed FY 2011 spending bill to become law should the Senate fail to approve a spending bill by April 6. It would also prevent members of Congress from being paid during a government shutdown.

The bill, H.R. 1255, was approved over bitter Democratic opposition in a 221-202 vote in which no Democrats supported it, and 15 Republicans opposed it.

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Several Democrats argued that the measure is unconstitutional, charging that it would "deem" that the 2011 spending bill, H.R. 1, has the force of law if the Senate fails to act. Some Democrats seized on the floor comments from Rep. Louie GohmertLouie GohmertDem frustration grows with Rosenstein Will McConnell and Ryan put party over country in defense of Trump? Why is the State Department refusing to disclose Soros' involvement in Macedonia? MORE (R-Texas), who broke with his party and said on the floor that this aspect of the bill "violates my conscience and the Constitution, and I cannot vote for it."

Republicans voting "no" were Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashGOP lawmaker backs Dem push for Trump tax returns The Hill's 12:30 Report The Memo: GOP talk of impeachment highlights Trump’s troubles MORE (Mich.), Michael BurgessMichael BurgessNew hope for ObamaCare repeal? Key GOP lawmaker working on amendment ObamaCare repeal: GOP seeks new game plan Ryan transfers record M to House GOP's campaign arm in March MORE (Texas), Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzMueller reviewed the Comey memos: report Overnight Cybersecurity: Flynn refuses to comply with Senate subpoena | Chaffetz postpones hearing with Comey | Small biz cyber bill would cost M | New worm spotted after 'Wanna Cry' Chaffetz postpones Oversight hearing with Comey MORE (Utah), Jeff FortenberryJeff FortenberryRepublicans fearing for their safety as anger, threats mount The Hill's Whip List: 19 GOP no votes on new ObamaCare replacement bill The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (Neb.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Richard Hanna (NY), Walter Jones (NC), Dan Lungren (Calif.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Ron Paul (Texas), Ted PoeTed PoeWill McConnell and Ryan put party over country in defense of Trump? GOP bill would create mandatory minimums for crimes against police Texas Republican departs Freedom Caucus MORE (Texas), Reid RibbleReid RibbleWith Trump, conservatives hope for ally in 'War on Christmas' GOP rushes to embrace Trump House stays Republican as GOP limits losses MORE (Wis.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), and James Sensenbrenner (Wis.). Rep. Blake FarentholdBlake FarentholdLawmakers move to boost transparency of government’s cyber vulnerability disclosure Uber tracking controversy catches Congress's eye Privacy and security: Protecting your data and digital engagement at the border MORE (R-Texas) was the only member of the House to vote "present."

Democratic leaders echoed Gohmert throughout the day, and argued that the prospect of deeming H.R. 1 as U.S. law is a serious violation of the founding document of the United States.

"What you see on the floor today is no example of Democracy in action," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. "It's silly. The Republican leadership is asking its members to make a silly vote."

"April Fools, America," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. "This is a joke, America. This is not real, America."

Other Democrats openly mocked Republicans and said they fail to understand the basic constitutional requirement that bills must pass the House and Senate before they become law. Two members suggested children's books as a way for Republicans to begin to learn about the Constitution — Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) offered How our Laws are Made, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered House Mouse, Senate Mouse.

"It's a much thinner book and it rhymes," Weiner said.

Several others encouraged Republicans to watch "I'm Just a Bill," the classic 1970s cartoon explaining how a bill becomes law.

Republicans repeatedly dismissed these arguments and said they agree that the bill would also have to be approved by the Senate before H.R. 1 could be implemented. Rep. Tim GriffinTim GriffinFlynn discloses lobbying that may have helped Turkey Tea Party class reassesses record Huckabee's daughter to run '16 campaign MORE (R-Ark.) said Republicans are not operating under the idea that House passage alone would make H.R. 1 the law of the land, and said for this reason the bill is consistent with the Constitution.

Today's House vote was largely symbolic precisely because it would require the Senate to approve the same bill and President Obama would have to sign it, neither of which is expected to happen. Still, Republicans insisted that the vote is important because it clarifies that the House has passed a bill, while the Senate has yet to make it clear that it can pass any counter-proposal that might form the starting point of a negotiation.

During the debate, Rep. Rob WoodallRob WoodallGOP flashes stop sign at Trump on gas tax Dem seeks to delay tax reform until after review of Trump's returns The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-Ga.) took the Democratic poster depicting the "I'm Just a Bill" cartoon, flipped it around to reveal its blank side, and said, "Here's the work product of the Senate. How do you negotiate with that?"

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes Overnight Energy: Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule MORE (R-Va.) reiterated this point, and said the prospect of a government shutdown "looms ever larger" because the Senate has refused to pass a bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy? Racial representation: A solution to inequality in the People’s House MORE (D-Nev.) slammed the bill's passage on Friday and said House Republicans are "wasting time."

"Unfortunately, today my colleagues in the House seem to be listening to this small but loud minority," Reid said in a statement. "Instead of working to create jobs, they are wasting time by voting yet again on a reckless spending bill that would destroy 700,000 jobs."

Cantor said the Senate still has the option of accepting the $61 billion in cuts approved in H.R. 1 if it finds it cannot pass any other bill.

"Funding the government at the levels passed by House Republicans might not be what Senator Reid wants, but surely even he would agree that it's a better alternative than shutting down the government," he said.

- This article was updated at 3:53 p.m.