House Passes Bills To Fund National Parks, DC And NIH

  @ericbrownzzz on October 02 2013 11:32 PM

The House passed three targeted spending bills on Wednesday night, pushing to fund the District of Columbia, the National Institutes of Health and the National Park Service despite the government shutdown.

Many Republicans have championed the parks funding bill, H.J. Res 70, after national monuments such as the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., were closed down at midnight on Tuesday. According to The Hill, the bill was passed with a 252-173 vote, supported by 23 Democrats and opposed by one Republican.

"Barricades were put up around the World War II memorial," Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) told the Hill. "Again, a memorial accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We should not be using our national parks … as hostages for the Democratic 'my way or the highway' shutdown."

The House also voted to continue funding the National Institutes of Health, which on Tuesday shut down care for many child cancer patients. Earlier on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dismissed the idea of funding only the NIH, stating it was an incomplete way to fund the government. House Republicans disagreed, voting in the bill 254-171. Twenty-five House Democrats voted in the bill's favor, while one Republican voted against it.

"We should pass this resolution notwithstanding what the majority leader in the other body says," said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). "It's very straight-forward. I think in any normal situation there would be bipartisan support for this."

Finally, the House also approved a bill funding the District of Columbia up until Dec. 15. House Republicans passed it on a vocal vote, and Democrats did not ask for a recorded vote, meaning that the bill may see a favorable day in the Senate as well.

While many Democrats may support funding these organizations, they see the Republicans’ efforts to fund them through piecemeal bills as a way of mitigating the effects of a government shutdown rather than dealing with the problems head on.

"Every day the Republican leadership tries to find a new way to pit one desperate group of Americans against another," Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) told the Hill. "Today Republicans are pitting kids with cancer against kids who are hungry because of the shutdown."

 

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