In 5 Minutes, House Votes To Stay Funded A few members voted Thursday in five minutes and two seconds to keep the government funded for four days — or until their colleagues return next week. Astonishing, considering it took the entire months of June and July for Congress to decide to continue paying bills it had already incurred.
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It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

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It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And I'm Melissa Block. In the Capitol today, the House of Representatives met for exactly five minutes and two seconds. Faster than most of us can eat lunch, the House passed a spending bill that will keep the government up and running for a few days anyway. NPR's Andrea Seabrook was in the House chamber for the session. She has this report.

ANDREA SEABROOK: At 11:00 a.m., an officer of the Sergeant at Arms threw open the doors of the House of Representatives to carry in the 4-foot ceremonial mace with the golden eagle on top. Congressman Andy Harris was in the chair.

ANDY HARRIS: The House will be in order.

SEABROOK: The Maryland Republican called on the House chaplain to give the prayer.

PATRICK CONROY: Let us pray.

SEABROOK: In which the Reverend Patrick Conroy prayed for lawmakers to find new understanding this week.

CONROY: May they, and may we all be concerned not only with our personal interests, but with the needs of those who live each day without power and without influence.

SEABROOK: Next up, Texas Republican John Culberson called on the House to turn toward the flag.

JOHN CULBERSON: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic...

SEABROOK: And then Harris in the chair and Culberson at the facing desk got down to business, the money to keep the government up and running.

HARRIS: For what purpose does the gentleman from Texas seek recognition?

CULBERSON: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to take from the Speaker's table the bill HR 2017 with the Senate amendments thereto, and concur in the Senate amendments.

SEABROOK: None of the three lawmakers in the room objected and so...

HARRIS: Without objection, the Senate amendments are concurred in, and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.

SEABROOK: In other words, it passed. As all the business was dispensed with...

HARRIS: Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Monday next.

SEABROOK: Five minutes and two seconds, astonishing, considering it took the entire months of June and July for the Congress to decide to continue paying bills it had already incurred.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, once you get to yes, things can move quickly.

SEABROOK: Maryland Democrat, Chris Van Hollen.

VAN HOLLEN: But getting to yes took way too long in this case.

SEABROOK: There could have been a hitch today if any of those Republicans who object to the spending had shown up. But Harris said Speaker John Boehner tamped that down early.

HARRIS: We had a conference call within the Republican conference last week and, you know, the Speaker communicated with the conference and there, you know, there were no objections, as you saw today on the floor.

SEABROOK: And it was no big deal, really, said Harris. He was going to have to come in anyway, to lead a quick, temporary session.

HARRIS: When we are on our constituent work, we don't recess anymore. So, every three days we have to have someone here.

SEABROOK: Andrea Seabrook, NPR News, the Capitol.

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