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Lawmaker's explosive charge about the $1 trillion spending bill


Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said late Thursday that he helped set up the final House vote in favor of a giant, $1 trillion spending bill, but only because House Republican leaders told him that so-called "CROmnibus" bill would never pass, and that the House was instead going to approve a less objectionable short-term continuing resolution.

"Earlier today, I supported the rule because I was informed by leadership that the CROmnibus was dead and a short term CR would take its place," Stutzman said. "I was very surprised and even more disappointed to see the CROmnibus back on the floor. The American people deserve better."

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.37.18 AM Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said GOP leaders pulled a fast one by saying the $1 trillion spending bill wouldn't pass, in order to get his support for a procedural vote.
Image: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Thursday's epic vote started with a 214-212 vote in favor of the rule for the spending bill. The rule set the terms of debate and vote for the bill — debate would last 80 minutes, and no amendments would be allowed.

Passage of the rule was required in order to get to the final vote on the spending bill, and if it failed, no vote could have happened. GOP leaders spent several minutes convincing a few Republicans to switch their votes, and finally succeeded.

Soon afterwards, GOP leaders recessed the House for nearly seven hours in a mad scramble for votes. Republicans did develop a backup plan to pass a short-term CR, which is what Stutzman said he wanted. But then the votes suddenly emerged, and the big spending bill was able to pass, 219-202.

Stutzman ultimately voted against the bill that he had helped to advance earlier in the day, along with 66 other Republicans. Many of these Republicans said they couldn't support legislation that lets Obama implement his executive action on immigration.

"It fails to directly address President Obama's dangerous executive action on immigration and fails to include many of the solutions that could have been passed in January with a Republican House and Senate in an open process," he said.

Stutzman's comments are just the latest sign of Republican frustration with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team. Also late Thursday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Boehner never reached out to Republicans to find a compromise on the spending bill, and instead tried to find Democratic votes.

Boehner had warned for weeks that it was the wrong time to try to add language stopping Obama's immigration move, since it would only be rejected by the Senate and set up a possible government shutdown.

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