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House Rejects GOP Effort to Give Feds Their First Missed Paycheck But Continue the Shutdown

Republican amendment to a continuing resolution would have funded agencies until Jan. 15, thus providing the one check that has been missed so far.

The House on Thursday rejected an attempt by Republicans to replace a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 28 with a measure that would have issued a paycheck to federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay.

The chamber momentarily approved the CR (H.J. Res. 28), which would have reopened unfunded agencies at fiscal 2018 spending levels until the end of February. But due to a procedural snafu during its passage, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said lawmakers would revisit the bill next week with a recorded vote.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, made a motion to send the legislation back to the House Appropriations Committee with instructions to change the date through which agencies would be funded to Jan. 15, two days ago.

If the motion had succeeded, and the bill had been passed and been signed into law, it would have provided all furloughed and excepted federal employees with the paycheck they missed last week, but the agencies would have remained unfunded and the paycheck due next week still would not go out.

The motion failed by a 195-222 vote, with six Democrats—Reps. Duke Cunningham, Calif.; Josh Gottheimer, N.J.; Conor Lamb, Penn.; Seth Moulton, Mass.; Max Rose, N.Y.; and Jeff Van Drew, N.J.—crossing the aisle to support the measure.

The CR extending funding until Feb. 28 is unlikely to become law, even if the House approves it by recorded vote next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has decried the House’s efforts so far to reopen the government as partisan exercises, and said he would refuse to allow any bill to receive a vote in the Senate unless it has Trump’s support.

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