House Republicans on Tuesday evening failed to get the required two-thirds majority to pass a series of bills that would have reopened and funded certain parts of the government, and the federal government will enter its second day in partial shutdown.
The three bills would have funded veterans programs, national parks, and the District of Columbia — three of the most visible effects of the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.
House and Senate Democrats derided the plan as a gimmick, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) charged that Republicans were "trying to cherry-pick the few parts of government they like." And in the end, the majority failed to persuade enough House Democrats to join them to get a required two-thirds majority and pass the bills.
A House Democratic aide told Business Insider that House GOP leadership likely put the bills under suspension — thus requiring a two-thirds majority to pass — because it was worried about Democrats bringing up a motion to recommit. That's a procedural rule that would allow Democrats to swap in the so-called "clean" continuing resolution that funds the government through Nov. 15.
On CNN after the votes, a furious House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) blasted Democrats and President Barack Obama in a statement.
"Why is it that you can say, well, we're just not going to support those things?" Cantor said. "That's a terrible message to send to people who are hurting right now."
Cantor hinted that House Republicans could bring up the bills again for a majority vote on Wednesday.
After the Senate had adjourned until 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Reid fired back at House Republicans. He called on House Speaker John Boehner to "stop the games" and bring the Senate's "clean" CR to fully fund the government for a vote on the House floor.
But as the federal government ended its first day in partial shutdown, there was no clear end in sight.
"Speaker Boehner has the votes to re-open the government and he knows it," Reid said.
"By refusing to let the House vote on the only bill that will re-open the government, Speaker Boehner is single-handedly keeping the government shut down. It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games, think about the people he is hurting, and let the House pass the Senate's bill to re-open the government with Republican and Democratic votes."
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