Vote of the Week: Senate OKs CR


WHEN

Monday, Sept. 26, 2011


WHAT

Senate Vote 153: To pass a continuing resolution to continue funding the federal government through Nov. 18.


OUTCOME

Passed, 79-12


WHAT IT REALLY MEANT

This vote averted another government shutdown after the Senate first rejected the House-passed continuing resolution and then an alternative by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The issue in both those votes was the House Republicans’ demand that additional federal disaster aid be offset by cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. The crisis was defused by an agreement to limit disaster aid to the amount provided in the House GOP’s 2012 budget with no offsets.

On this vote, 26 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and liberal independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) in support, with 12 conservative Republicans opposed. Twenty-three of those 26 Republicans had voted against Reid’s alternative, which was supported by only three Republican senators, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Reid’s alternative fell six votes short of cloture, 54-35.

The final bill omitted $3.65 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency aid and a $100 million offset from the Department of Energy grant program that made loans to now-defunct solar company Solyndra.

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A short-term CR was passed unanimously to last until Tuesday, when the House is expected to pass the long-term CR that continues funding to mid-November.

Both Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the dust-up that delayed the start of the Senate’s break for the Jewish New Year was unnecessary, but each blamed the other party for it.

Passage also was eased by FEMA’s announcement last week that it would be able to stretch its funds to carry it through the rest of fiscal 2011, which ended at midnight Friday.

“Tonight can best be summed up by Johnny Isakson, the senator from Georgia, who said: It is only worth fighting when there is something to fight for,” Reid said.

“This compromise should satisfy Republicans. It includes their own 2012 FEMA funding number, and it should satisfy the Democrats because it does not include the offsets we have talked about so much. It would be a win for everyone because we could end without another government crisis.”

But McConnell said FEMA’s announcement was “a vindication of what Republicans have been saying all along: Before we spend the taxpayers’ money, we should have a real accounting — a real accounting — of what is actually needed. We also believe that, in these days of huge deficits, we need to prioritize our spending around here.”


YES (79)

Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Joseph 
Lieberman (I-Conn.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), David Vitter (R-La.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)


NO (12)

Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)


ABSENT (9)

Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)