This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation funding federal government programs and agencies for three weeks. This short-term government funding bill—known as a “continuing resolution” or “CR”—was intended to keep the federal government operating while negotiators from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Democratic-controlled Senate, and Obama administration attempted to reach an agreement on a long-term budget measure.
The House had already passed a CR to fund the government through September 2011, the end of the federal government’s fiscal year. That measure, however, cut more than $60 billion from federal programs. The Senate, which was controlled by Democrats, rejected that CR. Thus, the House Republican leadership brought up this CR, which funded the government for three weeks and cut $6 billion from federal programs. (This measure cut funding from the National Park Service, the Census Bureau, and the Environmental Protection Agency).
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) urged support for the resolution and the underlying CR: “Today is about cutting $6 billion out of a budget that our children are not going to have to repay. Today is about keeping the government open for 3 more short weeks to give our friends in the Senate a chance to come to the table.” He also said: “So I rise today… to support this rule [resolution] that will bring to the floor a continuing resolution that will give the Senate three more weeks to get its house in order to do the business that the American people sent the Senate here to do, to join us in doing the good work that we have done, and to move a bill to the President's desk so that we can get on to the rest of the business that the country has laid before us.”
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) opposed the resolution and the underlying bill: “…The uncertainty with these 2- or 3-week short-term spending bills is creating a lot of havoc. I think eventually it's going to create havoc on the financial markets. It is already creating havoc within the federal agencies because they don't know whether they are going to be operating from one week to the next. It's not good for the country. It's not good for the economy.”
The House agreed to this resolution by a vote of 241-181. All 236 Republicans and 5 Democrats voted “yea.” 181 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation funding federal government programs and agencies for three weeks.