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The aide also suggested that the vote could have been influenced by election-year politics, with Republicans trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s government shutdown standoff, when a disagreement over funding the government led to a series of short-term spending extensions and much heated rhetoric.
“We view the vote as a major step forward toward averting a government shutdown,” the aide said. “I would not be surprised if Republicans coordinated with the Romney campaign in an effort to avert a shutdown before the election.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, said he was not surprised by the GOP vote because he said Republicans did not want a repeat last of summer’s debt fight. “They looked silly,” Leahy said.