Legislative Activity

Speaker Boehner’s Resignation May Lead to Quick Passage of a Short-Term FY 2016 Continuing Resolution

Friday’s announcement by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that he would resign from Congress at the end of October will likely lead to the enactment of a “clean” FY 2016 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11 at the $1.017 trillion topline discretionary spending limit established in the Budget Control Act.

Last week, Senate Democrats (with the exception of Joe Manchin (D-WV)) – along with eight Republicans – blocked debate on a proposed CR that contained a provision to defund Planned Parenthood for one year. The President also issued a Statement of Policy threatening to veto any bill that included language to defund Planned Parenthood. Hence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scheduled a vote today on a “clean” CR, without the Planned Parenthood provision.

As previously reported, House conservatives have been pushing the Speaker to utilize the CR as a means to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, threatening to remove Boehner from his Speakership if he did not stand up to Democrats and the White House. Knowing that such a measure would not pass the Senate, and lacking a veto-proof majority, it was anticipated that the House would first conduct at least one “show” vote, allowing conservatives to go on record with a vote against Planned Parenthood funding, and then, with Democratic support, pass the clean CR sent over from the Senate. House leadership introduced stand-alone legislation and proposed reconciliation legislation this week as a means to get a Planned Parenthood and Obamacare bill to the President. Conservatives rebuffed these proposals, putting the CR in jeopardy and leaving many thinking another government shutdown would start this week.

However, by eliminating the threat of losing his Speakership as a consequence of moving a clean CR, Speaker Boehner announced he would indeed bring up the Senate CR for a House vote. The vote, expected as early as Tuesday, will certainly succeed with moderate Republican and Democratic support, thus preventing a government shutdown, at least until December 11.