- House votes on measure to fund U.S. government and arm Syrian rebels
- Club for Growth announced it will not hold lawmakers accountable for their vote
- Conservative group's decision removes pressure on lawmakers concerned about spending
For conservatives conflicted over how to vote on a major measure Wednesday that would fund the federal government and authorize the President to arm Syrian rebels, their decision might have gotten a bit easier.
The conservative group Club for Growth announced that it will not hold lawmakers accountable for their vote.
The bill, which would fund the government until mid-December, includes an amendment to arm Syrian rebels to attack ISIS. Club for Growth informed members of Congress that the group is "withdrawing its key vote" because "the ISIS language does not make this a revealing vote about economic policy."
The group, which focuses on reducing government spending, keeps a scorecard of votes it deems important and uses it against members in re-election campaigns.
With the Club removing its pressure on the spending portion of the bill, conservatives who went to Congress to reduce the size of government are free to vote their conscience on the ISIS provisions.
Some members of Congress have been pushing for a stand-alone vote on ISIS, insisting that the seriousness of the matter deserves its own debate. But Congressional leadership in both parties are reluctant to hold a critical vote so close to the midterm elections, therefore tying it to a measure to keep the government functioning past September 30.
Also part of Wednesday's House vote is a measure to extend the authority of the Export-Import Bank, a small government agency that has sparked the ire of tea party conservatives for subsidizing U.S. businesses to conduct international trade.
Conservatives have been elevating the Export-Import Bank vote for several months, but now that it is tied with the continuing resolution to fund the government and the ISIS vote, it has almost disappeared as an issue. While conservatives are complaining that no one is focused on the bank anymore, the ISIS component of the bill could help House Speaker John Boehner, who supports the bank's extension, to pass it.