Under pressure to comply with a Republican House rule to make all bills available “for three days” before voting on them, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Tuesday morning he would wait until Thursday to bring the fiscal year spending bill to the floor.
“To comply with our three-day rule, the CR agreement will be brought to the floor on Thursday,” Cantor’s press office announced on Twitter.
Republicans last year campaigned on a promise to give members of Congress “72 hours” to read bills before putting them to a vote. Party leaders recently shifted their rhetoric to say that “three days” — which is the language used in their “Pledge to America” — would be defined as three “calendar” days. So technically, they would be within the bounds of the rule if they posted a bill at 11:59 p.m. on a Monday and voted on it at 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
The vote on the spending bill was originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but the Appropriations Committee did not have the text of the bill available until 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, forcing them to push it back a day to stay within the bounds of the three-day rule.
Although the Thursday vote complies with the three “calendar days” rule, it falls short of the “72 hour” pledge still listed on the speaker’s website because funding would otherwise run out at midnight that day.