in

House Speaker Johnson pushes stopgap bill to dodge government shutdown

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is moving forward with plans to pass a short-term funding bill through March to avoid a partial government shutdown this week — enraging hardline Republicans who called it a “surrender” to “Biden policies.”

“Last week, House Republicans achieved an improved topline agreement that will finally allow the House and Senate to complete the annual appropriations bills,” Johnson said in a Sunday statement, affirming the $1.66 trillion spending agreement he reached with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The topline agreement would extend government funding at current levels until March 1 and 8, respectively, with $888 billion allocated for defense spending and $704 billion in discretionary spending.

Another $69 billion would be added to discretionary spending levels following a side deal that former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) negotiated with the White House as part of last year’s bill to raise the debt ceiling, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is moving forward with plans to pass a short-term funding bill until March to avoid a partial government shutdown this week. AP
In a Sunday statement, Johnson affirmed the $1.66 trillion spending agreement he reached with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Ron Adar / M10s / SplashNews.com

Johnson in his statement repeated his defense of the Schumer deal, insisting that it would remove “the worst gimmicks included in the previous side deals in the Fiscal Responsibility Act,” while retaining $10 billion in cuts to the IRS and $6 billion worth of clawbacks of unspent COVID relief funds.

“Because the completion deadlines are upon us, a short continuing resolution is required to complete what House Republicans are working hard to achieve: an end to governance by omnibus, meaningful policy wins, and better stewardship of American tax dollars,” Johnson added.

Ten minutes after Johnson’s statement, the conservative House Freedom Caucus posted on X: “This is what surrender looks like.”

Ten minutes after the statement, the conservative House Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who is pictured above, posted on X: “This is what surrender looks like.” AP

“The @HouseGOP is planning to pass a short-term spending bill continuing Pelosi levels with Biden policies, to buy time to pass longer-term spending bills at Pelosi levels with Biden policies.”

Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good (R-Va.) and other members trooped to Johnson’s office last week to try and persuade him to pull out of the deal with Schumer.

But the speaker emerged Friday afternoon and told reporters, “Our topline agreement remains,” urging his conference to pass the measure and move quickly “toward a robust appropriations process.”

But the speaker emerged Friday afternoon and told reporters, “Our topline agreement remains,” urging his conference to pass the measure. MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“It brings Congress much closer to regular order, which is our big commitment here,” said Johnson, referring to the traditional 12-bill appropriations process for funding the federal government that hasn’t been completed in any fiscal year since 1996.

Other House lawmakers, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), had hoped the speaker would extend any continuing resolution past April 30, locking in a 1% reduction to the federal budget that McCarthy had tucked into the debt ceiling deal if Congress did not return to regular order by that time.

“The White House and the Senate were desperate to raise the debt limit, and so they agreed to spending cuts and spending caps,” Massie told The Post last week, adding that “they reneged on that deal” with the Johnson-Schumer topline agreement.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good (R-Va.) and other members gathered in Johnson’s office last week to persuade him to pull out of the deal with Schumer. MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Schumer, who cheered on the “compromise” he reached with Johnson in a floor speech last week, plans to have the Senate vote on the funding measure Tuesday.

Johnson and House Republicans have been unified, however, in their opposition to a leaked draft of a deal crafted by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) to enhance border security, which increased the number of green-card holders to 50,000 per year and still allowed for 5,000 migrants to be processed daily into the US.

“Absolutely not,” the House speaker posted on X in response to the proposal.

Johnson and House Republicans have been unified, however, in their opposition to a leaked draft of a deal crafted by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) to enhance border security. AP

Lankford negotiated the deal with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) over the holiday recess to reform US border policies for the first time in decades.

Both bills are expected to receive support from Democrats but will need the votes of a handful of moderate Republicans in order to pass the narrowly divided House.

“I think you’ll get to the point where he’s just going to have to say, ‘Hey, look, you’re either with me or you’re not. And if you’re not with me, we’re going to have to go find the votes to shore this thing up and do the work for the American people,’” Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told the Washington Post over the weekend of the current state of negotiations.

“Remember, he’s Speaker of the House. He’s not just speaker of the Republican Party.”

Written by SaleemBaloch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Counselor accused of abusing girl, 11, arrested in Mexico

Swastika scrawled near Holocaust memorial in Philadelphia