House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that there is “no threat of a government shutdown” despite the Republican-controlled House of Representatives rejecting a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government after the end of September, and provide $3.6 billion in disaster relief funds to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Listen, there’s no threat of a government shutdown. Let’s just get this out there,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly Capitol Hill press briefing.
“This continuing resolution was designed to be a bipartisan bill,” Boehner explained, “and we had every reason to believe that our counterparts across the aisle were supportive and once they began to see where some of our votes were, they decided to play politics and vote against disaster relief for millions of Americans who have been affected by this.
“We’re going to meet with our members later on today and present some options and decide on a way forward but I’ve always believed in allowing the House to work its will. I understood what the risk was yesterday but why not put the bill on the floor and let the members speak and they did.”
Speaker Boehner had a message for conservatives in his party who voted against the continuing resolution on Wednesday.
“They could vote no, but what they are in essence doing is they’re voting to spend more money, because that’s exactly what will happen,” he said.
The bill failed 230–195 with 48 Republicans voting against the measure. FEMA currently faces a budget shortfall after the latest natural disasters including Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.