Freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, voted for a short-term spending measure to end the federal government shutdown on Monday night while Palm Beach County’s three Democratic House members — Reps. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, Ted Deutch of Boca Raton and Alcee Hastings of Delray Beach — voted against it.
The final vote was 266-to-150, with 221 Republicans and 45 Democrats in favor of the bill to finance the government through Feb. 8. Voting no were 144 Democrats and 6 Republicans.
The House voted after most Senate Democrats, including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, reversed course from Friday night and allowed the stopgap spending bill to proceed.
“Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown,” President Donald Trump tweeted late Monday night. “Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!”
Here’s what Palm Beach County House members said about their votes:
• Mast: “I’m relieved to say that the government is going to be back open, but this was an entirely avoidable crisis. The bill passed today by the Senate is fundamentally the same as the one the House passed last week. The fact that a minority of Senators were able to hold the government hostage for 3 days—and make no real changes to the bill—shows just how broken the system really is. Sadly far too many people in Washington remain more interested in helping themselves than the people they represent.
“With this manufactured crisis behind us, we need to get back to work—fix the broken system, stop governing from crisis to crisis, get our country’s finances back on track, cut wasteful spending and do what we were sent here to do: put power back in the hands of the American people.”
• Frankel: “I want government open, but short-term funding is ridiculous and the failure to protect DREAMers is wrong. Month to month federal funding, in this case 17 days, endangers our national and domestic security. Without stable fiscal planning, all our federal agencies, including our military, are hampered. I will continue to fight alongside my fellow Democrats to get a deal for the DREAMers and pass a responsible long-term funding bill that allocates appropriate resources to important areas such as defense, veterans, infrastructure and medical research, and pressing crises facing Florida, like opioid abuse and hurricane recovery.”
• Deutch: “Governing by chaos is not governing. Using band-aids to move from one emergency to another is irresponsible and dangerous. Americans need to know that their government will be there for them. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership has failed them. We need a spending bill that will ensure certain, stable, and robust funding of both domestic and military spending for the remainder of the year. We need to instill confidence and ensure stability. We owe it to our military, our troops, our veterans, and our national security. We owe it to our seniors and low-income families, to Social Security beneficiaries and Medicare and Medicaid recipients. We owe it to the groundbreaking and life-saving federally-funded medical research, and to those still struggling to recover from the disastrous natural disasters.
“This bill offers no assurance for a long-term spending bill. It’s time to govern – responsibly and in a bipartisan way. The American people deserve better.”
• Hastings: “The Trump Shutdown was the first in modern history where one party controlled the House, Senate, and White House. Our country is just four months into the fiscal year, yet the Republican-run Congress has needed four short-term continuing resolutions to keep the government running. It is absolutely shameful that Congress has needed to pass a three week spending bill, kicking-the-can down the road yet again. This is no way to run our government.
“The clock is ticking. Over the next 17 days, the American people will face grave uncertainty. This is not leadership, this is no way to function, and it must stop.