It’s Keystone Kops in Washington, as John Boehner’s continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill nearly failed a procedural vote to bring it to the floor this morning. The tally was 214-212, and it took one Republican vote-switcher to avoid a colossal embarrassment for Speaker Boehner.
The embarrassment is bad enough, as the vote on the rule is normally along party lines. All Democrats voted against the rule this morning, which I take it is the norm. What was surprising is that a number of Republicans joined them: Justin Amash (R-MI), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Dave Brat (R-VA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Paul Broun (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Tom Massie (R-KY), Bill Posey (R-FL), Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and Steve Stockman (R-TX).
But that’s not all: the action is just beginning. The cromnibus is scheduled for a final vote this afternoon, and more conservatives may join those who voted against the rule in opposing the bill. But the real confusion is on the Democrat side, where President Obama says that he wants the bill to pass, but Nancy Pelosi has changed her position and is now whipping against it. This was Pelosi’s tweet this morning:
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 11, 2014
Stay tuned. At this point, I don’t think it is possible to predict this afternoon’s vote.
Reportedly, if the cromnibus fails Republican leadership plans on a “clean” three-month continuing resolution, meaning that there won’t be an anti-executive amnesty provision, which probably would lead to a government shutdown. In the new Congress, however, we presumably will return to an organized process where spending bills are debated, amended and so on. That would be a big improvement.
UPDATE (by Paul): Some on the Hill are saying that Cromnibus might well go down without a vote. In any event, the final vote, which was supposed to have occurred already, did not take place as scheduled.