October 4, 2013


Updated: 1:58 p.m. | House Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to discharge a GOP bill that automatically funds the government, advancing a course that could eventually end the government shutdown — if enough Republicans cooperate.

Democrats announced Friday afternoon that they would file a discharge petition on a bill sponsored by Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., that has sat waiting for action by the Appropriations Committee since March.

As CQ Roll Call reported Friday, Republicans have had a long history with the plan; many in the GOP have endorsed the idea over the years, including former Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Reps Paul D. Ryan and Jeb Hensarling.

The discharge petition would not simply adopt the Lankford bill, which would give 100 percent funding for 120 days before exacting a 1 percent cut every 90 days if the government does not produce funding bills.

Instead, their discharge petition would offer language to substitute Lankford’s bill with a clean CR to Nov. 15. They think they have the votes for the plan.

“We’ve had some conversations,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., who is heading up the plan with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.Miller said they have spoken to “a range of Republicans” who they feel could support the plan.

“So this discharge petition gives them the opportunity to do that,” Miller said. “They’re obviously not happy with the current plan. You can burn a lot of fingers here when you mindlessly shutdown the government.”

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