By falling on his gavel, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) cleared a path for Congress to pass a short-term spending bill and avoid a government shutdown.
The Senate will begin considering Monday evening a bill to fund the government through Dec. 11, the controversial Planned Parenthood funding included. With a final vote expected Tuesday, the House will have about a day to pass the legislation and keep the government open in time for the Sept. 30 deadline.
A major obstacle in the advancing the House version of the stop-gap spending bill was removed Friday when Boehner announced he was stepping down as Speaker. The hardliners in his party had been threatening a potential coup if it appeared Boehner had cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government open, but with his resignation they lost that leverage. Now Boehner can pass the bill over the objections of the so-called Freedom Caucus, with the help of Democratic votes.
“It’s not going to happen,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said Friday of a potential shutdown. He told reporters that Boehner had informed him and other members that the House would be voting on a “clean” continuing resolution — a short-term spending bill that did not included riders attacking Planned Parenthood or otherwise — by this Wednesday.
Democrats signaled they would support the legislation, as the White House and congressional leaders have presented a united front in demanding a clean spending bill.
“By Tuesday they will send us a bill, and I expect that bill to be clean and if it’s clean, I’d hope that we can pass that,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters Friday.
The maneuver sets a stage for a high-stakes fight later this year, when the funding of the government past December could be wrapped up with raising the debt ceiling, which will likely be necessary by the end of this year, as well as other must-pass legislation.
The maneuver sets the stage for a high-stakes fight later this year, when the funding of the government past December could be wrapped up with raising the debt ceiling, which will likely be necessary by the end of this year, as well as other must-pass legislation.