U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago was the only Democrat in the U.S. House to vote against an emergency funding plan aimed at averting a federal government shutdown, citing the bill’s lack of funding for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion.
The continuing resolution passed the Republican-led House on the strength of Democratic votes as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California proposed a “clean” bill that also was stripped of items pushed by far-right elements of the GOP caucus who demanded increased border security and spending cuts.
As a result, Quigley, a progressive from the North and Northwest Side and west suburbs, found himself in the rare position of being on the same side of the bill as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and all three Illinois House Republicans, Darin LaHood of Peoria, Mike Bost of Murphysboro and Mary Miller of Oakland.
The overall roll call was 335-91 as House lawmakers approved the 45-day funding measure, which was passed and sent to the Senate only hours before a 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1 deadline. If no legislation is passed by then, that would lead to a government shutdown. There were 209 Democrats joining 126 Republicans in favor, while of the 91 opposed, 90 were Republicans.
Quigley is co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus and he lashed out at those Republicans who have been critical of increased U.S. aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
“This bill is a victory for Putin and Putin-sympathizers everywhere. We now have 45 days to correct this grave mistake,” Quigley said in a statement, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I had a responsibility to my constituents to voice my opposition to this decision and raise concerns now, before Russia-friendly Republicans dig in their heels or claim victory in the next funding agreement,” Quigley, in his 14th year in the House, said in explaining his “no” vote.
Quigley said attempts by Republicans to argue that a choice must be made between America and Ukraine are “presenting a false dilemma. Protecting Ukraine is in our national interest.”
In a news conference after the vote, McCarthy was noncommittal on bringing a separate Ukraine aid bill to the floor, though he said he supports Ukrainians in their cause against Russia.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, a member of the House Democratic leadership, derided infighting among Republicans for putting the nation “on a collision course towards a government shutdown.” But she also acknowledged “I would have liked to see funding for Ukraine included.”
“There is still broad bipartisan support for continuing our assistance to Ukraine. We will never turn our backs on them. We will get Ukraine the support they need,” she said in a statement.
Bost, who is facing a primary challenge from last year’s unsuccessful Republican governor nominee, Darren Bailey of Xenia, said his vote against the funding measure was because it lacked “any serious reforms on spending or border security.”
“The people of Southern Illinois sent me to Washington to restore fiscal sanity and secure our southern border,” Bost said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.