House GOP fails to pass Capitol spending bill — an ominous sign for looming funding fights

House Republicans failed to pass their $7 billion funding bill for parts of the legislative branch on Thursday, a surprise misstep in what should have been an easy victory for GOP leaders.

The failure is an ominous sign for Republicans’ push to pass the rest of their fiscal 2025 spending bills on the floor before August recess, with seven bills — most of which are far more politically divisive — tentatively slated for floor action during the last two weeks of July.

The measure collapsed on the House floor in a 205-213 vote, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to tank the legislation as well as several GOP absences. A longstanding and contentious freeze on a cost-of-living pay raise for members of Congress, in addition to concerns about higher spending, contributed to the GOP dissension.

Before the vote, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), a GOP appropriator who voted against the bill, raised concerns on the floor about increased funding levels and the constitutionality of maintaining the pay freeze through appropriations bills. While House Republicans are broadly seeking cuts throughout their annual spending bills for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Legislative Branch measure is one of a few that seeks a funding hike, proposing an overall 6 percent bump for the House, Capitol Police, Congressional Budget Office and more.

Senior Republican appropriators were shocked by the failed vote, with House Appropriations Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) calling it “inexplicable,” adding that he had not heard significant concerns from members.

“Well, I assumed it was going to pass,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), another senior appropriator.

Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), who oversees the Legislative Branch funding measure, said the bill was facing “a few different issues.”

“And so we went in — the last couple of days — we knew that it was going to be close,” he said. “There were some members that were expressing concerns. And there were a lot of members who weren’t here, as well.”

Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Eli Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Keith Self of Texas and Clyde all voted against the bill.

GOP leaders will now face their most ambitious fiscal 2025 task yet: attempting to pass seven appropriations bills during the last two weeks of July, several of which never made it across the floor last summer thanks to politically tough goals for funding cuts and policy provisions that fueled House Republican infighting.

House Republicans have so far managed to pass four of their spending bills on the floor for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, including measures that would fund the departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Homeland Security, State and foreign aid programs.

Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report incorrectly identified Rep. Robert Aderholt’s state. He represents a district in Alabama.