House resolution condemning government shutdowns falls short in floor vote

House resolution condemning government shutdowns falls short in floor vote
© Greg Nash
A Democrat-backed resolution condemning government shutdowns failed on the House floor Wednesday, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
The 249-163 vote garnered support from all 228 Democrats, with 21 Republicans crossing the aisle to back the resolution.
The measure — spearheaded by freshman Rep. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonProgressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats Congress needs to continue fighting the opioid epidemic Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people MORE (D-Va.) — comes in the wake of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, when about 800,000 federal employees missed two consecutive paychecks during the 35-day stalemate.
"Saying that shutdowns harm the American people and the economy should not be controversial," Wexton said on the floor ahead of the vote, in which 163 Republicans opposed the measure. "These facts are not up for debate, pr at least they shouldn't be."
The resolution initially contained language that many GOP lawmakers took issue with, saying it cast blame on Republicans for the recent shutdown. Wexton said the resolution should have passed with broad bipartisan support since the measure was amended to remove the language in question.

"Yesterday members of the Freedom Caucus basically tried to shut down the House of Representatives because they objected to a sentence in the resolution that -- objected to a sentence in the resolution that said the president shut down the government to achieve a legislative end," Wexton said. "Now, he did. We all saw him say it on television and we've seen it many, many times since then. But I'm a brand new legislator, and I am all about getting the yes and finding consensus. So the offending clause has been removed from this resolution and should not be a problem anymore."
He also criticized Democrats for rejecting President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE's offers on spending bills, arguing they should have made more of an effort to provide counteroffers during the partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22 and ended on Jan. 25.
The president signed a three-week stopgap measure to reopen the government on Friday, giving lawmakers more time to hash out a potential deal on border security. Trump warned that if the proposal does not include funding for a border wall, another partial shutdown could commence on Feb. 16.
He also left open the possibility of taking executive action to circumvent Congress and order construction of the wall.