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House passes government spending bill

By Deirdre Walsh, CNN
House Speaker John Boehner led a GOP effort to cut $60 billion in federal spending.
House Speaker John Boehner led a GOP effort to cut $60 billion in federal spending.
  • The measure now moves to the Senate
  • The vote came at about 5 a.m. Sunday morning

Washington (CNN) -- (CNN) -- The House of Representatives passed a government spending bill after a marathon session Saturday morning that slashes more than $60 billion in federal funding for the seven months remaining in the 2011 fiscal year.

The vote on the GOP measure won by a 235-189 margin, at a vote that occurred right before 5 a.m.

The fight over spending now moves to the Senate, but with President Obama already issuing a veto threat of the House bill and Senate Democratic leaders calling the cuts "extreme," the specter of a government shutdown looms. Only two weeks remain before the current resolution funding federal agencies expires.

The vote followed a rare open debate on the House floor over four days, and included literally hundreds of amendments, from defunding the new health care law, to eliminating money for a controversial backup engine for the F-35 fighter jet, and zeroing out federal funds for Planned Parenthood.

While Speaker John Boehner touted what he called a unprecedented debate on the House floor, the long and often testy exchanges exposed divisions within the House GOP on several occasions. Scores of House Republicans joined Democrats to stave off proposed cuts to police and fire fighters. On another amendment, pushed by a group of House conservatives to cut $22 billion more in federal spending, 92 Republicans joined all House Democrats to oppose deeper cuts.

House GOP leaders argued their bill cuts $100 billion in federal spending when compared to the budget proposed by President Obama for 2011, but that budget was never enacted. The $60 billion figure is the amount the bill would cut from current spending by government agencies.