Amid negotiations among Republicans over whether or not to support the leadership's proposal to avoid a government shutdown, the Pentagon Funding Bill failed to advance to the full House of Representatives. On Tuesday, there was a procedural vote, which defines whether or not the proposal advances to the full House to be formally evaluated. Once all the votes were counted, the proposal was rejected with 214 representatives against and 212 in favor.
The vote failed for the GOP after five Republicans joined all the Democrats and voted against it. If passed, it would have opened debate on the $886 billion appropriations bill.
The five Republicans who voted against the leadership bill were Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Matt Ronsendale (R-Mont.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Dan Bishop (R-N.C.).
214-212: In a major defeat for Republican leadership, the House just voted DOWN the rule that would have allowed it to pass a Pentagon funding bill. Five Republicans voted with Democrats.
Defense funding has typically been among the easiest things for the House GOP to pass. pic.twitter.com/VPu7BnM2LP
— The Recount (@therecount) September 19, 2023
At the same time, a vote was also scheduled to be taken on whether or not to advance Kevin McCarthy's proposal to avoid a government shutdown to the plenary session. However, because enough Republicans had already announced their opposition, the House speaker decided to postpone that vote until the end of this week.
McCarthy told reporters after the Pentagon vote that he would consider a vote to open debate after lawmakers have had enough time to reach a deal. The proposed plan is the product of negotiations between the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus, defined by their colleagues as the group of "pragmatic conservatives."
What is in McCarthy's plan to avoid a government shutdown?
The bill begins with an extension of the deadline to present legislation that would fund the federal government during fiscal year 2024. The new date would be at the end of October, which would give Congress an extra month to negotiate an agreement, although it does not ensure that a shutdown will take place on Nov. 1. Everything would be contingent on agreement between Democrats and Republicans.
In addition, it would cut discretionary spending by 8%, which is defined as funding for federal agencies, although it would protect funds for defense, emergency relief and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Finally, the Republican bill includes most of the Border Security Act of 2023, one of the significant pieces of legislation from House Republicans. However, the new plan included provisions requiring E-Verify. The legislation is still waiting for Senate approval.