An attempt by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to force a vote on a full-year CR was rejected Thursday afternoon after some procedural gymnastics. Pelosi attempted to bring the “clean” continuing resolution — without the additional border wall funding that President Donald Trump is insisting be included — to the floor as a privileged resolution.
“Right now we’re in the midst of Congress delaying, the market’s down almost 500 points for this and other reasons. This is not the time for us to shut down government,” said Pelosi.
She justified her use of the privileged resolution, which is a procedural move that gives one House action precedence over the regular order of business and allows a resolution to leapfrog or interrupt other pending matters before the chamber.
“We have a product developed in a bipartisan way for the reasons described by the clerk who read it, and it is privileged because of the time of the year, because of the extent of the concern that the American people have, and because of the harm that will be done to them if government shuts down,” she said. “It would be totally irresponsible and that’s why I consider it a privilege to rise to say, let’s keep government open by passing this bipartisan legislation.”
The presiding officer ruled that the the resolution didn’t qualify as a question of the privileges of the House. Lawmakers voted 187-170 to table Pelosi’s appeal of that decision. The vote essentially put House members on the record whether they want a clean CR. Members who wanted to vote on a clean CR voted against the motion to table; if they wanted to table her request they voted yes. Seventy-five House members — 48 Republicans and 27 Democrats — did not cast a vote.
Earlier in the day, Trump told House Republicans that he would veto the seven-week stopgap funding bill GOP leaders put forward this week, escalating the odds of a partial government shutdown after Friday at midnight, when temporary appropriations expire.
The Senate passed a different measure (HR 695) by voice vote Wednesday evening, which would extend current funding levels through Feb. 8.
“The president has informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns about border security,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters after a meeting with Trump at the White House Thursday.
Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said the House will add provisions to the continuing resolution that would allocate $5 billion for border barrier construction as well as disaster aid for hurricane and wildfire victims.
A little later, House Republicans released their text of a stopgap funding bill that includes more than $5 billion for the wall and $8 billion for disaster relief.