House hopes for passing a temporary spending bill were crushed late Wednesday afternoon when the measure was defeated by a vote of 230-195.
More than 45 Republicans bucked their leadership and voted no on the measure.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) told Fox News, "I'm disappointed, particularly at Democrats who voted against it...they voted to a person to shut down the government."
Known as a Continuing Resolution, or CR, the House and Senate have failed to jointly approve any of the 12 annual spending bills which fund the federal government. The CR which ran the government (and narrowly averted a government shutdown in April) expires September 30th. The government's new fiscal year, which the annual spending bills are designed for, begins October 1st.
House GOP leadership had put together an interim CR to fund the government through November 18th, though the plan was flawed on three tiers of controversy.
First, many conservative and tea party Republicans in the House didn't like the proposed CR because it did not adhere to the fiscal constraints of the budget blueprint crafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Throughout the summer, the House passed several individual appropriations bills, using the Ryan budget as a template. However, the debt ceiling agreement which the House and Senate okayed in August essentially vitiates the Ryan budget. In fact, it funds government programs at a level $24 billion higher than was called for in the Ryan budget.
On that point alone, the GOP leadership lost a substantial chunk of Republican votes, 45, compared to the 59 they lost on the bill to keep the government open in April and 66 on the debt ceiling agreement. So you see where the need for Democratic support is important.
Secondly, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) signaled earlier Wednesday he expected few Democrats to vote for the CR. Democrats were particularly upset with offsets which Republicans had included in the bill for disaster funding. In August, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) got himself into trouble when he indicated he thought FEMA money (which is included in the bill) should be offset. Democrats abhor the offset in this bill which takes money from an Energy Department loan program to boost green technology in automobiles. That said, 15 of the last 30 emergency spending bills, covering everything from war to hurricanes to pandemic flu, have included offsets with little outcry.
In addition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is threatening to strike the offset provision in the bill and attach a nearly $7 billion disaster aid package to the measure once he gets a hold of the legislation in the Senate. If that passes the Senate and returns to the House with an alteration, it's unlikely the House GOP can stomach it.
With such a resounding defeat, the sides now face being in session next week or looking at a potential government shutdown at the end of the month.