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House Passes Three-Week CR

Updated: 4:23 p.m.

The House voted 271-158 Tuesday afternoon in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure that would keep the government funded through April 8.

The Senate is expected to pass the continuing resolution, which includes $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget, before the end of the week.

Some conservative House Republicans had pledged to vote against the measure, saying it does not make enough cuts and does not include social-issue riders some had wanted. Fifty-four House Republicans ultimately voted against the bill, while 85 House Democrats helped to pass it.

It remains unclear whether Members will be able to negotiate a longer-term spending bill in the next three weeks. So far, the White House, Senate Democrats and House GOP leaders have made little progress on a deal.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) praised Tuesday’s vote as honoring House Republicans’ commitment to cutting spending. But they both urged completion of the longer-term bill.

“We cannot continue to fund the government with a series of stopgap measures and I am hopeful that this is the last short-term CR we will have to deal with,” Cantor said in a statement after the vote. “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 [Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] must offer a proposal that can gather a majority of support in the Senate. Furthermore, the President has yet to truly weigh in on where he stands, and has an obligation to this country to do so. House Republicans cannot negotiate with ourselves, and we are demanding that Democrats and the Administration get serious about cutting spending and show us their plan.”

Boehner also called on Senate Democrats and the White House to offer a workable proposal to keep the government funded for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Senate rejected a longer-term, House-passed CR and a Democratic alternative last week.

“It’s up to the Senate and the White House to offer a credible plan to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year while delivering the spending cuts Americans are demanding,” Boehner said in a statement after the vote. “By resolving last year’s budget mess, we can move on to addressing this year’s budget and the full scope of the spending problem that is making it harder to create jobs.“

Later in the afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the stopgap bill “gives Congress some breathing room to find consensus” on a longer-term measure.

“But the President has been clear: with the wide range of issues facing our nation, we cannot keep funding the government in two or three week increments,” Carney said in a statement. “It is time for us to come together, find common ground and resolve this issue in a sensible way.”

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