The House of Representatives passed a three-week federal budget extension on Tuesday, sending the bill to the Senate where members must pass it ahead of a March 18 deadline or face the prospect of some federal services stopping until funds are made available.
The House voted 271 to 158 in favor of H.J Res 48, which will cut $6 billion in spending in the next thee weeks, until April 8, as Congressional leaders pass a short term budget to attempt to negotiate a longer term solution that will fund the federal government until September 30, the end of the fiscal year.
At least 215 votes were needed to pass the bill.
Ahead of the vote, House Speaker John Boehner's office released a statement emphasizing the Republican party's aim to cut spending, noting $10 billion cuts in five weeks. The house has been in session for 10 weeks, since January 6.
In that time the House, led by Republicans, passed a bill that would have cut $61 billion from last year's federal budget. The measure failed in the senate.
On Tuesday, there were 186 Republicans who voted in favor and 54 who voted against.
He also characterized Democrats as being divided.
This short-term measure is necessary because Democrats are divided and haven't crafted a serious long-term plan that cuts spending, he said.
Democrats opposed Tuesday's bill, with 85 voting for and 104 voting against.
On the House floor during debate ahead of the vote, minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who eventually voted against the bill, criticized the short-term nature of the bill.
Today we are in a situation where we are debating a short-term bill to keep the government open on a week-by-week basis. This is not any way to run a government or business, she said.
She said the Republican bill being voted on failed to create jobs, strengthen the middle class and reduce the deficit.
Sen. Charles Schumer D-NY noted that Tuesday's measure passed with some Democratic Party support, saying that would also be the case if the long-term deal were to pass.
Speaker Boehner wouldn't have been able to pass this short-term measure without Democratic votes, and he won't be able to pass a long-term one without Democratic votes either. It's time for him to abandon the Tea Party, and forge a bipartisan compromise, he said.