House Democrats kill spending bills to keep open national parks, Veterans Affairs

Tuesday, the first day of the government shutdown, started out with Senate rejecting a proposal from the House of Representatives to enter into a conference committee to discuss differences between the two chambers on the Continuing Resolution (CR).

House-appointed conferees held a photo op in which they sat at the table across from empty chairs where their Senate counterparts would be sitting if they had agreed to negotiate. “We sit ready to negotiate with the Senate. #FairnessForAll,” tweeted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), attaching the photo below.

 Majority Leader Eric Cantor -- (@GOPLeader)

House Republicans decided on another round of action to work through disagreements on ObamaCare by bringing up stop-gap spending measures that would end the disruption of certain parts of the federal government.

The House went into session early yesterday evening, planning to take up three separate spending measures to fund the National Park Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the District of Columbia, which is under the purview of Congress.

House Democrats chided Republicans for not passing a so-called “clean” CR before the government shutdown and overwhelmingly opposed the measures, leading to their defeat.

Because the rules had to be suspended to pass each measure, a 2/3 vote of the 432 current members of the chamber was required. The measure to fund Veterans Affairs was defeated by a vote of 264 to 164. The measure to appropriate local funds of the District of Columbia lost, 265 to 163. And, finally, the appropriations bill for the National Park Service failed in a 252 to 176.

Much like House Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) dismissed the idea shortly after it became public, according to The Hill, calling it “just another wacky idea from the Tea Party-driven Republicans.” The White House threatened to veto the measures.

Senate Democrats voted en bloc against three separate House-passed stop-gap spending measures, which would have averted a government shutdown, because they’ve targeted ObamaCare.

Democrats opposed the latest measures, based on comments made by House members from the floor yesterday, because they believe the government shutdown is bad politics for their Republican colleagues. While a majority of Americans disapprove of all sides over their handling of the budget, Republicans fare the worst.

House Republicans are also contending with disgruntled members of their conference who are ready to pass a clean CR, which is desired by the White House and Senate Democrats.


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