Democratic and Republican leaders made a last-minute push for a six-month funding bill that cuts $26.5 billion in spending even as opposition continued to grow on the right and left.
Speaker John Boehner made a rare floor appearance Thursday afternoon to push back against conservative critics of the bill.
“There are some who claim the spending cuts in this bill aren't ‘real,’ that the bill is full of ‘gimmicks.’ That's nonsense. A cut is a cut. ... Every dime of cuts in this bill is a dime that Washington will spend if we leave it on the table. And if you vote ‘no’ on this bill, you're voting to do exactly that,” the Ohio Republican said.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer came out in favor of the legislation, saying in a statement that “After hard negotiations with strongly-held beliefs on both sides, a bipartisan deal was reached on a continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year. On the whole, my belief is that this measure should pass.”
The Maryland Democrat was making a strong push in the last hours before the vote: He posted on Twitter and Facebook that he would be voting for the CR, and a GOP lawmaker said during earlier votes that he could be heard whipping his Members on the floor.
Democratic votes will likely be key to the success of bill. Although Boehner had hoped to pass it with 218 Republican votes, with conservatives railing against the deal, it appeared before the vote that leadership would struggle to break the 200-vote mark.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.