The biggest hurdle to the 2011 CR deal has been cleared: The House has passed the measure by a fairly overwhelming margin, 260-167. Fifty-nine Republicans voted against it, as did a solid majority of Democrats. The Republican 'no' votes were largely motivated by a sense that the $38 Billion (or less, or much less) in cuts were insufficient. The 108 Democrat nays were primarily spurred by a sense that the deal cut too much.
The bill now moves over to the Senate, where several Senators may launch symbolic efforts to delay the final vote, but final passage is all but assured.
Many conservatives will view today's vote as a disappointment, if not an outright betrayal. They have ample cause for dismay. That being said, there are enormous challenges ahead. The debt ceiling vote, and the related fight for major spending control concessions, will be huge. Bigger still is the coming slug fest over Paul Ryan's 2012 budget, which is already the subject of intense partisan vitriol -- led, shamefully, by the President of the United States. Holding Republicans accountable for their promises is an important and worthy aim of the conservative movement, but it should resist the urge to tear the party asunder over one relatively small vote. Internal discord and rancor could breed a chaos that Democrats will gladly exploit when the stakes are astronomically higher.
Today vote marks a tiny, almost imperceptible, step in the right direction. Conservatives should focus on working hard to ensure that future movements toward fiscal discipline look more like leaps and bounds.
UPDATE - It's come to this (via @allahpundit):
Why does Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) hate trees?
UPDATE II - Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin offers his explanation of why the CR cuts are real, and amount to $40 Billion:
UPDATE III - Here's the final roll, if you'd like to see how your representative voted.
UPDATE IV - The Senate, as expected, has passed the House bill. The president will sign it. For better or worse, government shutdown is off the table for the remainder of FY 2011. The final tally in the Senate was 81-19.
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