WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill funding the federal government for 2014, avoiding government shutdowns for the rest of the fiscal year and providing some fiscal certainty for the weak economic recovery, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
“For too long Congress has jumped from crisis to crisis, and that is neither good for the economy nor the American people,” said Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge. “The bill, which passed the House today with bipartisan support, provides zero new funding for Obamacare, protects all current pro-life policies, and provides real fiscal oversight. This bill was a compromise and is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction and holds the line on spending priorities.”
The vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill, which will fund the government through October, was 359-67, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats opposed in the Republican-led House. The legislation now goes to the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, and it is expected to pass it easily this week.
NBC News said some influential outside conservative groups opposed the legislation, saying it is too bloated and fails to cut out wasteful government programs. But the measure passed without the gridlock that has characterized other recent fiscal fights, including the one that led to a partial government shutdown in October.
Fleischmann, a second-term congressman, said the House spending bill takes a critical step forward for the Chickamauga lock in Chattanooga. In October, the House passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, and this bill takes another step toward fixing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which has long been ignored as the root cause of the lock’s funding problem, Fleischmann said.
“The appropriations bill that passed today puts into law a more effective distribution model for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund and is a large step toward ensuring funding for Chickamauga,” he said.