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Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 12/21/2010

House passes government funding measure, sends on to President Obama

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 7:40 p.m.

The House on Tuesday night passed a bill that would continue to fund the government through March 4, 2011, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature ahead of a midnight deadline.

The bill passed by a 193-to-165 vote, with about 80 members not present. The House vote was closer than the Senate's vote on the measure earlier Tuesday; 79 senators voted in favor of the bill and 16 voted against it.

President Obama must sign the bill by midnight in order to avert a federal shutdown.

Tuesday's votes followed an uproar last week over a $1.2 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that included more than $8 billion in earmarks.

Republicans successfully forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to withdraw the measure from the floor and instead take up the stopgap measure, which would only increase federal spending by $1.16 billion, an increase of less than one percent.

The bill also includes the two-year federal pay freeze proposed by Obama earlier this month.

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 21, 2010; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

WPost, FederalEmployees Union --How about helping with some transparency and accountability for whether Members of Congress walk their talk of freezing pay for Federal employees (Members and their staffs are Federal employees, too, albeit in a different branch of the government)? Specifically:

Will Members of Congress who voted for the pay freeze for Federal employees voluntarily limit their compensation (including fringe benefits paid by the government -- the amount the government is paying for health insurance increased meaningfully) similarly in amount and duration? Will these same Members limit the cost of their Congressional staff and staff salaries (including fringe benefits) similarly in duration and amount and BEFORE any across the board reduction, e.g., 5%?

Posted by: jimb | December 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, first, the House Republicans have already announced that they are cutting the time the House members have to,actually, work in Washington. Do we get a salary cut for the members? Please don't trot out that they are working when they're home. That's not making the decisions they were elected for and the offfice staff handles it better. And the office staffs salaries aren't frozen.

Second, why aren't we allowed to take them either as dependants or a bad investment write off on our tax returns? I think it's only right that I be allowed to write off Cryin' Johnnie and Mitch McConnell as a bad investments foisted on me pro-deficit people in their home states. Don't like the truth? Go check their records in helping cause the Dubbya deficits.

Posted by: JohninConnecticut | December 23, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

The many ignorant, unsophisticated, and short-sighted remarks above are regrettable. I am proud to serve my country as a Federal IT manager. Last year I saved more than 6 times my salary by automating manual, paper processes and eliminating the need for a data entry contractor. Yes, my work actually STREAMLINES the government and makes my agency work more efficiently. A project I am working on right now will reduce manual paper-pushing by 256,600 hours per year across 1,200 state and local governments.

With a pay freeze, rising health insurance costs, rising daycare costs, rising property taxes, and rising METRO fares, the private sector is looking better and better, where I can earn 40% higher salary. You don't want thousands of folks like me to leave the government.

Posted by: tttttttt1 | December 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The many ignorant, unsophisticated, and short-sighted remarks above are regrettable. I am proud to serve my country as a Federal IT manager. Last year I saved more than 6 times my salary by automating manual, paper processes and eliminating the need for a data entry contractor. Yes, my work actually STREAMLINES the government and makes my agency work more efficiently. A project I am working on right now will reduce manual paper-pushing by 256,600 hours per year across 1,200 state and local governments. With a pay freeze, rising health insurance costs, rising daycare costs, rising METRO fares, the private sector is looking better and better, where I can earn 40% higher salary.

Posted by: tttttttt1 | December 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The many ignorant, unsophisticated, and short-sighted remarks above are regrettable. I am proud to serve my country as a Federal IT manager. Last year I saved more than 6 times my salary by automating manual, paper processes and eliminating the need for a data entry contractor. Yes, my work actually STREAMLINES the government and makes my agency work more efficiently. A project I am working on right now will reduce manual paper-pushing by 256,600 hours per year across 1,200 state and local governments. With a pay freeze, rising health insurance costs, rising daycare costs, rising METRO fares, the private sector is looking better and better, where I can earn 40% higher salary.

Posted by: tttttttt1 | December 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Did the President sign it? How about a little follow-up as to whether it is law or not yet?

Posted by: jennifer42 | December 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I am glad the Republicans will do the budget. With people actually paying attention they might be forced to actually back up their words. In the past they have simply lowered taxes and spent more. Then when the Dems get in office, they cry about the debt. Now it is time for them to put up or shut up. Let's see if they will make across the board cuts as they promised, including the sacred cow of defense budget!!!!!!!

Posted by: pgmichigan | December 22, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Guess the lazy-a**** bureaucrats have to show for work tomorrow. Instead of getting some leave paid for after the fact.

Posted by: oracle2world | December 21, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@TheBabeNemo: You assume the House is "working" at all this year.

Posted by: MajorConfusion | December 21, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Darn. I was hoping not to have to go to work tomorrow.

Posted by: MajorConfusion | December 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise. The honey pot is replenished. The unseen leviathan in the room has been fed. "It's in the appropriation, suckers!"

Posted by: phvr38 | December 21, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

thank GOD the Republican House will do the budget...
be prepared to suffer all who live off the goverment and give nothing in return...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 21, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

looks like the House is working late today.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 21, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

We do not over pay our Congressional People, unless you believe in merit pay based on what they got done. Then the last Congress is the only one in many years which got much done, and that took far too long.
Worrying about how much they are paid is just a waste of effort, worry about what they get done and how much BS gets added to even the good bills in the process.

Worry about how the compromise between unemployment we couldn't afford, a tax cut for the rich which we couldn't afford and was immoral as all get out, included both, more tax cuts and spending. The 700 billion deal we couldn't afford came out as a 1.3 trillion deal we really couldn't afford.

How about this instead. If companies sit on money they get taxed more, but if they invest it in jobs in AMERICA, they get a new tax break. That could free up 2 trillion in assets that are just sitting now. Add in the rich with the same deal and we either get a lot more tax money or a lot more investment. Invest it or lose it.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | December 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse


i love the way they scare people...

"a federal shutdown"...

we get this every year.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

We pay an outrageous amount of money every year for Representatives and Senators to do our national work. The simplest of all might be the budget. They never try to balance the thing, so that part is no longer a headache. They rarely consider how much red ink they are ingesting into the mix. They load it with special interest and pork barrel money for the folks back home, and then pass it with great moaning and gnashing of teeth that government must be brought under control. The hypocrisy is past laughable, reaching the point of blatant absurdity. And, now, they want to fund the government in short increments, as short as three days, while they mull over the total budget. By March 4, the year will be nearly half gone and we all know that you don't make meaningful changes half way through the year. So, another year is going to be in the books with NO effort to contain GIG GOVERNMENT.
What a waste of money.

Posted by: ronjeske | December 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

How crafty our politicians are! In order to get the pay freeze through, our reps in Washington can say, "Hey, it was part of the larger CRA that had to be passed by midnight, so we had to vote Yes." So now we know who our friends are... May I remind them that we have the memories of an elephant?

Posted by: barnesgene | December 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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