House Republicans are barreling forward on futile effort to avoid a government shutdown

  • House Republicans are moving forward with a bill to keep the government open, passing a fifth continuing resolution.
  • Because the Senate is likely to reject or alter the House plan, some members wonder the point is in going forward at all.

WASHINGTON – House Republicans are moving forward with their plan to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open, tacked on to a year of defence spending and other measures.

Because the Senate does not seem to be on the same page, some Republicans say the bill moving forward in the House might be a futile “exercise.”

“Unfortunately, we are back at that point that we were just a few weeks ago,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in a press conference on Tuesday. “The American public was reminded it’s not one simple party rule in the Senate. It takes 60 votes to pass anything. Unfortunately, last time we had to have a shutdown. Hopefully we will not be in that situation again.”

“I will remind you that the only reason we do not have a full budget agreement is because Democrats continue to hold funding for our government hostage on an unrelated issue,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in the same press conference.

Republicans in the House leadership and throughout the conference all echoed the same position, that a split Senate ought to take up what they will pass later Tuesday along what will likely be a party-line vote.

“I would love to see the Senate just have to vote on something,” Rep. Dave Brat told reporters. “They get six-year terms and they’re all hiding under their desks and putting the tough votes on us constantly.”

“The Senate is where the attention ought to be and their failure to perform,” Brat added. “The American people gave us the House and the Senate and the White House but there is an effective block there by the Democrats. So the American people I don’t think quite get that part yet that that’s where the obstruction is.”

Some Republicans do not buy the ‘jam the Senate’ strategy as realistic

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky who always votes against continuing resolutions, told Business Insider, “It’s a well-worn ploy of our leadership to get our rank-and-file members to vote for something they eventually aren’t gonna want to vote for.”

“I mean, look, they always talk about jamming the Senate. ‘We’re gonna send this to them and jam them,'” Massie said. “It didn’t look like we jammed them on the last [continuing resolution] – we waited around all weekend waiting for the Senate to tell us what to do. I think the conference here demands at least that we try that even though it’s not going anywhere.”

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, another Republican committed to vote against the continuing resolution, agreed with Massie.

“At some point we have to move on and try to figure this out,” Amash told Business Insider. “When you telegraph to the Senate that we know it’s not going to pass the Senate, then it’s just an exercise.”

Rep. Mark Walker, who chairs the influential Republican Study Committee, rejected the notion that pushing through a spending bill the Senate is sure to dismiss is merely an exercise.

“I would call it doing our job,” Walker told Business Insider. “The day we get to the place that we manage our decision making based on what the Senate may or may not do, I would have major problems and feel like that we were being derelict in our duty.”

Walker said the House always reserves the right to push back on the Senate, even if it is not always the case. At the same time, Walker acknowledged that the Senate shaking up what will likely pass the House on Tuesday will result in backlash when it comes back to the lower chamber.

“I think from what we – I can’t offer too much conjecture – but at first prognosis, I think everybody will throw a penalty flag,” he said.

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