Dems block GOP’s attempt to exempt parks, veterans from shutdown

Photo by REX/Kris Tripplaar (3095529f)/The Guardian
Photo by REX/Kris Tripplaar/The Guardian

After losing the votes needed to pass three emergency funding measures on Tuesday, House Republicans will try again on Wednesday, but with virtually no hope of making it past the Senate and White House.

The three stopgap measures – “funding veterans affairs programs, national parks and museums, and the Washington, D.C. city government” – blocked by House Democrats at the urging of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tuesday, prevented Republicans from obtaining the “two-thirds supermajority” needed to pass them, the Daily Mail reported.

According to Fox News, the GOP will attempt to pass the same three bills again on Wednesday, but “[u]nlike on Tuesday, the latest bills will not be treated by House GOP leaders as suspension bills, which means they only need a simple majority vote to pass.”

However, even if passed in the House, the Senate has already vowed to not ever consider them, and President Obama said he would veto the measures.

According to the article:

The president and the Senate have been clear that they won’t accept this kind of game-playing, and if these bills were to come to the president’s desk he would veto them. These piecemeal efforts are not serious and they are no way to run a government.

Mike Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, fired back, “How does the White House justify signing the troop funding bill, but vetoing similar measures for veterans, National Parks, and District of Columbia?  The President can’t continue to complain about the impact of the government shutdown on veterans, visitors at National Parks, and DC while vetoing bills to help them. The White House position is unsustainably hypocritical.”

Disgusted GOP lawmakers tweeted after the vote failed Tuesday:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 6.24.47 AM

Although the measures failed Tuesday, some Democrats defied Pelosi and voted with Republicans.

“Thirty-three of the 197 Democrats joined every Republican to support the veterans funding bill,” the Mail reported. “Thirty-four crossed over to support a measure allowing the district of Columbia to temporarily determine its own spending priorities. And just 22 Democrats voted to support a bill funding ‘National Park Service operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.’”

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