Posted at 2:25 PM on December 16, 2011
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. House
WASHINGTON - With strong bipartisan support, the U.S. House passed a trillion dollar spending bill Friday afternoon that funds much of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year next September.
The bill passed 296-121, with the support of 149 Democrats and 147 Republicans. 86 Republicans broke ranks with their party to vote against the measure. Five of Minnesota's eight House lawmakers voted for the legislation, two opposed it and one was not present to vote.
Voting in favor were Republican Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen and DFL Reps. Betty McCollum, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz. Republican Chip Cravaack and DFLer Keith Ellison voted against the measure. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination in Iowa and did not return to Washington to vote.
Speaking moments before he cast his vote, Ellison said he could not support the bill because of what he called Congress's "turn toward austerity" rather than emphasizing job creation.
"I know it needs to pass, I know it's important but I also don't want to bless it with my support but I don't want to say, 'yeah, this is thumbs up this is the way it should be done,' or even close," said Ellison.
None of the congressional offices have issued press releases about the vote, but once they come out, we'll post them below.
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) - "Language that would prevent the Administration from diverting Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund dredging monies to other federal infrastructure programs was stripped in conference committee. The bill also lacked the Senate-stripped provision to give Minnesota jurisdiction over the wolves within its borders and spent $915 billion without any substantive reforms. What's more, the bill cut funding for Forest Service timber sales programs. Next time the conference committee meets behind closed doors it should take into greater consideration the needs of the Eighth Congressional District."