November 15, 2023

Johnson Passes House Spending Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

With the government shutdown looming, Speaker Johnson (R-LA) managed to get a deal passed through the House.

The win for Johnson is that he averted a shutdown.

The loss is that more Democrats voted for the spending bill than Republicans.

Problems Looming

The legislation passed 336 to 95. There were two Democrats and 93 Republicans who voted against the bill.

The bill is now headed over to the Senate, where we expect Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.) to floor it, where we would expect it to pass, and then head to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

While Johnson got a majority of Republicans to support the bill, I am not sure he did himself any favors in terms of future support.

The bill is a step bill, meaning it creates two different deadlines for future funding to be locked in, which is a preventative measure of having an omnibus bill to lump all government spending into one massive piece of legislation.

Congress will now have until January 19 to pass budget measures for the line items where there is usually very little resistance, such as military, energy, and transportation.

The remaining spending measures must be passed by February 2, which is when the fighting will begin.

Ironically, it is legislation like this that got McCarthy booted as Speaker and while Johnson is clearly being given a longer leash, this legislation did some damage.

To that point, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), who is also a member of the Freedom Caucus, stated, “It’s a bad decision. So, of course, it damages your relationship when people make bad decisions.

“It gives you less confidence that the next play call is going to be the right one. There’s a lot of people pretty upset, that’s for sure.”

One of the more outspoken members of the caucus, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), added, “I gotta tell you, you can’t assume my vote on any bill, if the speaker is going to roll us.

“And all I know is that they’re negotiating border provisions next week on Ukraine. This better not be the model of the approach or there will be, you know, trouble in so-called Paradise.”

My guess here is that the length of the leash given to Johnson just ran out… from this point forward, he will meet resistance if he fails to live up to the promises made.

Even so, Johnson believes he is actually doing what was promised by changing the way DC does business.

He stated, “Kevin was in a very difficult situation when that happened.

“This is a different situation, the innovation that we created, this new vehicle that the Democrats initially said was so frightening, actually turns out to be something that will change the way we do this.”

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