How Bay Area House members voted on CRomnibus

The House voted 219-206 Thursday night to pass the $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending bill to avert a government shutdown and fund the federal government through next October.

Conservative Republicans opposed the measure because it doesn’t explicitly bar President Obama from implementing his executive actions on immigration; many Democrats opposed it because of non-budgetary policy riders attached to the bill, including one that to roll back a key provision of the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform act and another to raise the maximum amount contributors can give to political parties.

This made for some pretty weird bedfellows. President Barack Obama; Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, all urged its passage, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and conservatives like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., opposed it.

In the end, 57 Democrats crossed the aisle to join 162 Republicans in supporting it, while 67 Republicans crossed the aisle to join 139 Democrats in opposing it. Ten members did not vote.

Here’s how the Bay Area delegation split:

YEA: George Miller, D-Martinez; Sam Farr, D-Carmel

NAY: Pelosi; Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Mike Thompson, D-Napa; Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin; Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; Mike Honda, D-San Jose; Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton

See what some had to say about it, after the jump…

From Thompson:

“Once again, House Republicans are threatening to shutdown the government by including provisions in a last-minute funding bill that’s needed to keep the government open past midnight. Buried deep in this bill is a provision that would put American taxpayers back on the hook for bailing out Wall Street when their riskiest bets go wrong. These kinds of risky bets brought our financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008, and cost our nation millions of jobs. While this provision is a windfall for Wall Street and will allow them to once again gamble with taxpayer’s money, it’s a blow to the middle class.

“If that wasn’t enough, the funding bill would dramatically increase the amount of money wealthy donors can funnel into our elections, preventing the voices of American middle class families and small businesses from being heard.

“This funding bill also provides $500 million to train and arm Syrian rebel groups to fight ISIL. While ISIL is a dangerous terrorist organization that must be stopped, we do not have enough information on the people we are arming and training, nor can we ensure that these weapons will not fall into the hands of ISIL, or be used against innocent civilians.

“Finally, the legislation attempts to undercut the President’s executive actions to address problems with our broken immigration system by only providing short-term funding to the government agency tasked with carrying out these fixes.

“We need a clean, straight-forward spending bill that doesn’t hurt our middle class, undermine our democratic process, arm foreign rebels we know little about, or undercut efforts to fix our immigration system.”

From Honda:

“I could not vote for this deeply flawed package, despite its inclusion of the Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation Act and full funding for the next stage of the BART extension. Our Appropriations Committee crafted a good bill, but sadly it has been defaced by Republican Leadership with unrelated policy riders that have no place in an appropriations bill.

“The Cromnibus would remove key provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that were put in place to prevent the type of economic collapse we experienced in 2008. I will not vote for any bill that puts this nation in that type of economic jeopardy again.

“Big money already plays too large a role in our elections. Increasing that role is anti-democratic and against our American values. We need reforms that lessen the influence of the largest donors, not increase it.”

From Farr’s floor speech before the vote:

“I want to thank Mr. Rogers, the chair of the committee, for bringing a bill to the floor. I wish it was the full bill and not most of a bill, but I also want the world to note that even though there are some poison pills in this issue, this is a very progressive appropriations bill and it shows that when you do reach compromise – and I hope that the party that will be in the majority next year will understand that we want to do a full process, we want it to be vetted, we don’t want poison pills but in the end get the bad language out, which you did – and you can have a bill that has bipartisan support.

“We don’t want things to get worse in this country, we want it to get better, and a CR (continuing resolution) is the worst thing that could happen. But we also as a body that believes in exposure and the public’s right to know, we should never allow these poison pills to be in this bill.

“Hold your nose and make this a better world.”

From Huffman:

“I could not in good conscience vote for this special interest Christmas tree masquerading as a government funding bill. And I’m deeply disappointed that 57 Democrats joined the House Republican majority in passing it.

“What we learned through this disgraceful ‘CRomnibus’ episode is that House Republicans will seize every opportunity to legislate special favors for Wall Street, mega-rich campaign contributors, and big polluters. American taxpayers are once again exposed to potential bailouts of Wall Street banks who can now resume risky derivative trading with other peoples’ money, backed by FDIC insurance when the next financial bubble bursts. Mega-donors can now write obscenely large checks to political parties, further expanding their outsized political influence. And Big Coal can continue its devastating mountaintop removal mining with less onerous stream protection rules – and with a special provision to support the coal export boom by continuing taxpayer investments in dirty energy projects abroad.

“We see the GOP’s true priorities by the many special interest giveaways in this bill – and also by what was deliberately left out of the bill. The Secure Rural Schools program is set to expire, leaving education systems in much of my North Coast district and many rural areas around the country in financial limbo. Instead of heeding the bipartisan calls to extend the program, House Republicans left it out of the Omnibus so that they could use it as a partisan political football next year. They essentially admitted as much in floor debates. House Republicans have been relentlessly attacking our environmental laws and we know that will continue next year. But using struggling rural schools as hostages to advance their anti-environment partisan agenda is a cynical political move even by the low standards of this Congress.

“Democrats could and should have leveraged our votes for a better government funding bill. I’m also disappointed that instead of drawing a firm line on policy priorities, the Obama administration capitulated and actually whipped the bill.

“We have now given a bully our lunch money. He will be back in January, bigger, stronger, and asking for more.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.