Tags: federal | budget | bill | kerry bentivolio

Congressman Santa Claus Saves $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Image: Congressman Santa Claus Saves $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich. (United States Congress - Office of Congressman Kerry Bentivolio)

By    |   Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 11:14 PM

The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed late Thursday was pulled from the fire by a lame-duck conservative House lawmaker who used to raise reindeer and was known as Congressman Santa Claus.

Michigan Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who lost his primary in August, had been among conservative Republicans who voted against a rule that set up the floor debate for the spending bill, potentially stopping the measure dead in the water, The Hill reports.

House leaders had warned if the rule didn't pass, Congress could be stuck in Washington, D.C., until Christmas, the Detroit News reports.

"Congressman Santa Clause [sic] (R-Mich.) switches vote for Boehner, saves Christmas maybe? Rules of debate pass, a defeat would've been deadly," Paul Kane, a reporter at the Washington Post, tweeted, the Detroit News reports.

Without the help of Democrats, Republicans could only lose 17 GOP House members to pass the rule, and Speaker John Boehner intervened when 18 defected and not a single Democrat voted "yes."

The Ohio Republican immediately went to work on Bentivolio and Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who also switched his vote; after just a brief conversation with Boehner, The Hill reports Bentivolio strolled over to a voting machine and switched his vote.

Ultimately, 16 Republicans voted against the rule and it passed by a whisker, 214-212, The Hill reports.

Hours later, the House narrowly approved the massive spending measure after President Barack Obama and Republicans joined forces to override Democrats' complaints the bill would undo Wall Street reform bank regulations.

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The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed late Thursday was pulled from the fire by a lame-duck conservative House lawmaker who used to raise reindeer and was known as Congressman Santa Claus.
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2014-14-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 11:14 PM
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