WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday failed to muster enough support to approve a short-term funding bill to reopen the federal government through Feb. 1.
The resolution, backed by the entire Connecticut delegation as well as every other Democrat, was taken up under a process requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. Only six Republicans supported the resolution. The vote was 237-187. It came 25 days into a partial government shutdown that is now the longest in history.
Rep. Jahana Hayes said it is incumbent on Congress to reopen the federal government as soon as possible and saw today’s resolution as part of an ongoing effort to put pressure on Republicans to relent on their insistence that funding must be included for a border wall.
“It is unconscionable to me that at the moment where Democrats were positioned to take control of the House, border security became the number one top issue of this administration. That’s not how we govern. We have to put pressure from the inside and the outside from our communities on elected officials to do the job they were sent here to do,” she said.
Hayes, a freshman, was included in the House Democrats’ weekly leadership news conference that took place in the Capitol Tuesday morning.
House Republican leaders said that a growing crisis on the border must be addressed.
“We are standing firm with President Trump to secure the border,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming.
At the press conference, Hayes described how the shutdown is hurting people in Connecticut’s 5th District.
“In my district, we house five of the nine domestic abuse and violence shelters in the state. Those shelters are at risk of closing their doors,” she said.
Hayes also said 175 low-income housing units in her district have not received their payments from the federal government, which put people at risk of homelessness. There are also 400,000 Connecticut residents participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which runs out in February.
“Many working mothers, many single parents rely on the supplemental assistance to feed their children. As a teacher, I recognize kids can’t learn when they are hungry,” she said. “This is not their fault.”
Hayes also said the shutdown is eroding people’s confidence in government.
“I ran on a platform that government works … That’s what got me elected — that we help each other, that we are communities of people,” she said. “This is not government working. This is not what it is supposed to look like … No other government in the world shuts itself down.”
The House, now in control of the Democrats, is expected to vote on similar funding resolutions on Wednesday and Thursday to reopen the government. Even if they are approved, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring one up for a vote unless President Trump supports it.
Trump has remained firm in insisting he will not support reopening the government before a deal on funding a border wall is completed. Trump has asked for nearly $6 billion for the wall.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this story included an incorrect vote total. It has been corrected to 237-187.