Arkansas two senators have split on legislation that continues funding government after it was stripped of a House-backed effort to defund the federal health care law.
Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Friday voted for the measure intended on keeping the federal government operating through Nov. 15, while Republican John Boozman voted against the measure.
The Senate passed the continuing resolution on a 54-44 vote after voting by the same margin to remove from it a House proposal to defund the federal health care overhaul.
The measure is aimed at avoiding a government shutdown next week and heads back to the House.
The state's four Republican congressmen voted last week for the spending bill with the defunding measure included.
In statements issued Friday afternoon, the Senators defended their positions.
Senator Pryor wrote:
Today the Senate came together to pass a responsible measure that will keep our government open. A government shutdown would be irresponsible and would put our nation’s economic security and credit rating in jeopardy. The American people are tired of the reckless “my-way-or-the-highway” politics. I’m confident that reasonable members of the House will pass the Senate’s common-sense bill so we can continue to move our nation forward.
While Senator Boozman said:
I supported the House-passed bill that accomplishes our goals of keeping the government operating and defunding Obamacare. Avoiding a government shutdown is a good policy that protects hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, the bill was changed by Majority Leader Harry Reid who stripped language to defund Obamacare and I could no longer support it. This is not the end of our fight. We will continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that contain costs. The American people are now seeing how Obamacare is driving up costs beyond belief instead of containing them. The continuing resolution has gone back to the House where they have the votes to pursue a strategy that can be effective. I believe we can continue this fight with a bill they send back to the Senate that includes provisions such as a one year delay for the individual mandate or an elimination of the Congressional carve-out.