House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer suggested Tuesdays vote on the short-term continuing resolution should give Republicans reason to go to the table to negotiate a compromise on a long-term spending plan.
“It is very clear where the House stands, but three months into the year, the position of a majority of the Senate remains unknown. I strongly believe that Reid must offer a proposal that can gather a majority of support in the Senate,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement.
Republicans also tried to downplay the significance of Tuesday’s 54 defections.
One Republican Member said the defectors were just trying to position themselves for future negotiations. This Member also dismissed the decision of several third-party groups to score Members on the vote because it didn’t include legislative language that would defund Planned Parenthood.
“It’s easier to be a paid pundit than actually trying to govern,” the lawmaker said.
Boehner took issue with Republicans who voted no, saying he understands “some of our Members want to do more, but what is it in this bill that they disagree with?” The measure cuts an additional $6 billion in federal spending.
Boehner also did not bow to the growing pressure from his conservative flank to publicly declare the measure as the final short-term spending legislation that he would bring up before taking up a longer-term bill.
“I want a long-term continuing resolution over as soon as possible, but I’m not going to negotiate with myself,” Boehner said.
Other Members said Tuesday’s vote was only the beginning.
“If people think this is a tough vote today, they ain’t seen nothing yet,” Rep. Dan Lungren said. “Wait until we have to talk about the budget.”
Still, the California Republican acknowledged that he is aware of third-party groups pushing for lawmakers to vote against the three-week stopgap spending measure because of the Planned Parenthood funding. Lungren, who voted in favor of Tuesday’s three-week CR, said his voting record should blunt to any criticism from outside groups.
“I’ve voted pro-life since 1979,” Lungren said.
Correction: March 15
The article misstated how many House Democrats voted for the three-week continuing resolution Tuesday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.