Congress Passes Last Minute Bill to Avert Shutdown

It PASSED - 314-108!

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Congress had until January 19 to approve a government spending bill in order to prevent a partial shutdown. On the eve of the deadline, legislators successfully enacted a temporary bill, although not everyone expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

The House approved the continuing resolution on January 18 with a vote of 314-108. This bill extended the deadlines for the subsequent funding measures to March 1 and March 8. Opting for the short-term solution provides legislators with over a month to address concerns and authorize formal appropriations bills.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) had to depend on Democrats to secure the passage of the continuing resolution. To expedite the process, he presented the legislation on the floor by suspending the rules, bypassing the need to approve a rule first—a step that could have been obstructed by the Freedom Caucus. This strategic move contrasts with the fate of former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-GA), who faced removal from office and eventually left Congress after employing a similar approach in October.

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Chip Roy (R-TX) have commented on the possibility of initiating a motion to vacate, a move reminiscent of what Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) executed against McCarthy. Despite concerns about Speaker Johnson’s choice to keep the government operational without substantial alterations to immigration policy, he seems to enjoy more backing than the previous speaker did when facing a similar situation.

Before the vote, Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) voiced disapproval of Johnson’s choice to collaborate with Democrats in securing the approval of the temporary funding measure. Good remarked that members of his caucus had been attempting to assist and cooperate with Johnson, but the Speaker opted to collaborate with Democrats instead.

In his commitment, Johnson has pledged a determined effort to incorporate his party’s policy provisions into the 12 appropriations bills required for fiscal 2024. During an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, he expressed optimism, stating his belief that the GOP will succeed in securing both their policy riders and desired policy alterations.

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