Recent Congressional Votes
- Senate: Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Passage
- House: Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Motion to Concur
Upcoming Congressional Bills
- House: Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013
Editor’s Note: The Senate is in recess this week.
Recent Senate Votes
Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Passage – Vote Passed (81-18, 1 Not Voting)
Senators approved a continuing appropriations resolution on Wednesday night, bringing an end to the 16-day partial government shutdown that began with the end of the federal fiscal year. The measure also extended the Treasury’s ability to borrow to pay the nation’s debt obligations, avoiding a potentially-catastrophic default that loomed days later. The Senate’s leaders, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, hammered out the compromise early in the week after House Republicans failed to come to a consensus for their own plan. Their solution almost entirely avoided the issue of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of which some conservative Republican senators had hoped to delay in exchange for restoring FY 2014 discretionary spending and raising the debt ceiling. The continuing resolution authorizes federal discretionary spending at levels established by sequester cuts, which amount to about $986 billion annually. Senators added about 3 billion dollars of additional spending to support natural disaster recovery, fight wildfires, and complete funding for a major dam and lock project on the Ohio River. It extended the Treasury’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7, allowing the federal government to exceed the current statutory limit of $16.7 trillion on the national debt. The resolution also provided back pay for those federal and District of Columbia government workers who were furloughed after funds ran out on Oct. 1. To avoid the need to pass another continuing appropriations resolution in the absence of a new federal budget, the deal also required the House and Senate to form a budget conference committee. The body will have to iron out an agreement for the rest of Fiscal 2014 by Dec. 13. Republicans gained one small concession in the final package, as the bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure it is verifying the income of individuals purchasing subsidized health insurance on its marketplace exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act. Under the 2010 law, exchanges opened for business on Oct. 1. Eighteen of the Senate’s most conservative Republican members voted against the measure.
Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES
Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES
Recent House Votes
Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Motion to Concur – Vote Passed (285-144, 3 Not Voting)
House members voted late Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown by passing a continuing appropriations resolution to fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014. The vote receded amendments previously approved by the chamber and accepted a resolution to the standoff that Senators forged at the beginning of last week and passed hours before. President Obama signed the continuing resolution shortly after midnight on Oct. 17. House Republican leadership offered several proposals to end the government shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling early last week. The GOP caucus, however, could not come to a consensus on which plan to support. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, decided to accept the Senate compromise as the risk of a default on the national debt by the Treasury loomed ever closer last week. The resolution did not postpone implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the major target of House conservative Republicans in delaying FY 2014 funds and an extension of the Treasury’s debt ceiling. During the final vote, 144 Republicans voted against the measure while only 87 supported it. All 198 voting Democrats approved the resolution.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted YES
Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 – H.R.3080
The House will consider legislation to reauthorize federal water development projects.