Nine House Republicans broke from the GOP to support a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill on Friday, ignoring leadership’s recommendation to vote against the measure.
The legislation passed in a 225-201-1 vote and now heads to President Biden’s desk for his final signature. The Senate approved the measure in a bipartisan 68-29 vote on Thursday.
The nine Republicans broke from the GOP and voted for the bill were Reps. John Katko (N.Y.), Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Steve Womack (Ark.).
Only two — Fitzpatrick and Womack — are returning to Congress next year. The others either opted against running for another term or lost their reelection races.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) was the only Democrat to vote “no,” and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) was the lone “present” vote.
The spending bill — which funds the government until Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2023 — includes $772.5 billion in nondefense discretionary spending and $858 billion in defense funding. Other legislative measures were also written into the bill, such as funding for Ukraine and the Electoral Count Reform Act.
The nine Republicans voted for the omnibus despite House GOP leadership whipping against the measure. In a notice sent on Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) urged members of the conference to vote “no” on the omnibus, arguing that the incoming House GOP majority should have more say in funding for the rest of the fiscal year.
“This deal is designed to sideline the incoming Republican House Majority by extending many programs for multiple years and providing large funding increases for Democrat priorities on top of the exorbitant spending that has already been appropriated this year,” the notice reads.
Some Republicans had instead called for passing a continuing resolution into the next year, which would give the House GOP majority an increased role in crafting funding. That push, however, ultimately failed.
In a roughly 25-minute floor speech ahead of Friday’s vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called the spending bill “a monstrosity,” adding “that is one of the most shameful acts I’ve ever seen in his body.”
Katko, who is retiring, lauded the passage of the spending bill in a statement following the vote, highlighting funding for projects that impact central New York, as well as other measures included in the legislation.
“These projects will have a transformational effect on our community by improving public transportation, bolstering our local healthcare system, protecting Lake Ontario’s southern shoreline, combating food insecurity, expanding access to clean drinking water, and supporting victims of child abuse,” he said. ”Additionally, I am pleased to have passed bipartisan measures I authored to bolster the new 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and expand mental health treatment for seniors.”
“Throughout my eight years in Congress, I have focused on delivering results for Central New York. As I close out my term, I am proud to once again deliver meaningful results for our community,” he added.
Cheney and Kinzinger — the two Republicans serving on the Jan. 6 select committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, — did not immediately release statements regarding their votes in favor of the spending bill. The legislation does, however, include a measure to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which came about following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The legislation, titled the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, clarifies that the vice president’s role in the certification of presidential elections is ministerial and increases the threshold for lawmakers to object to a state’s slate of elections, among other tenets.
The House passed its own version of the bill — crafted by two members of the select committee — which was largely similar to the Senate measure, with a few differences. But the Senate went ahead with considering its own version, which ultimately cleared both chambers in the omnibus.