Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a potential 2012 presidential candidate, was one of 28 House Republicans who voted against a one-week spending bill early Saturday morning meant to avoid a government shutdown.
The vote on the bill, which cuts $2 billion from discretionary spending and funds the government through April 15, came after congressional leaders and the White House reached a last-minute deal to avert a shutdown. The measure passed 348-70.
In a statement released shortly after the vote, Bachmann said she was protesting the overall agreement on the long-term funding measure, which she called a “disappointment for me and millions of Americans” who, she said, “expected” $61 billion in cuts from current spending levels.
Along with Bachmann, at least a dozen Republican freshmen voted against the one-week measure, including Reps. Tim Scott (S.C.), Scott Rigell (Va.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Steven Palazzo (Miss.), Andy Harris (Md.) and Tim Huelskamp (Kan.).
Approval of the one-week CR clears the way for a vote on the long-term deal. The bipartisan accord reached late Friday falls short of the House Republican campaign pledge to cut $100 billion in fiscal 2011 spending. It cuts $39 billion in actual spending, which is $22 billion less than the bill the House passed in February.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who told The Hill that he would vote against the overall budget deal, did vote in favor of the one-week CR.
Several Tea Party-backed lawmakers said early Saturday they are also leaning toward a vote against the full budget compromise reached late Friday.
“I think this a significant cut at a significant time,” Scott said after the vote. “The question I still have to wrestle with: Is it enough?”
Labrador called the deal “a victory” given that it “cuts significantly, even though Democrats wanted to keep increasing spending.” Still, the freshman lawmaker said he has no intention of celebrating and isn’t sure whether he’ll vote in favor of the long-term deal.
“It’s great that we reached a deal,” he said. “But we could have done more.”
– Bob Cusack and Pete Kasperowicz contributed to this report.