Latest News 19-01-2024 00:07 9 Views

House votes to avoid government shutdown after Speaker Johnson bucks GOP rebels

The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to advance a short-term government funding extension. The bill now goes to President Biden's desk, where he will have to sign it before the end of the day on Friday to avert a partial government shutdown.

It passed 314 to 108 and nearly split the House GOP in half — 107 Republicans voted for its passage, while 106 opposed.

House leaders rushed to put the bill, called a continuing resolution (CR), on the floor Thursday afternoon soon after the Senate passed it 77 to 18. 

It was brought for a vote under a suspension of the rules, meaning it forgoes a procedural vote but then needs two-thirds of House lawmakers' support for final passage, rather than just a simple majority.

The decision was made amid widespread frustration within Speaker Mike Johnson's right flank over the passage of another CR. Johnson, R-La., previously vowed to be 'done' with CRs after passing one in November, but congressional leaders have agreed it's needed to give lawmakers more time to cobble together a spending deal for fiscal year 2024.

Hours before the vote, House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va., met with Johnson to persuade him to add a border security amendment to the CR. 

Good told reporters Johnson was 'considering it,' arguing, 'The Senate will be forced to consider, are they willing to fund the government and secure the border, or they refuse to fund the government because they don't want to secure the border.'

But Johnson immediately put the rumors to rest. His spokesman, Raj Shah, posted on X minutes after Good spoke to reporters, 'The plan has not changed. The House is voting on the stop gap measure tonight to keep the government open.'

The new CR would preserve Johnson's 'laddered' approach by keeping the two separate funding deadlines intact, extending them from Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 to March 1 and March 8, respectively. 

Johnson previously said that it's aimed at preventing Congress from passing an all-in-one 'omnibus' spending bill, something Republicans in the House and Senate oppose. 

Good and other members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus complained about the CR earlier this week but acknowledged there was little they could do to stop it from passing, given its support from House Democrats and a significant share of House Republicans.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., told Fox News Digital he was 'an optimist' but conceded that there was likely little that conservatives could do to stop the CR from passing.

'I guess if he puts it on suspension, a lot of Democrats vote for it, maybe that’s a correct statement. But it’s certainly not something I’m going to vote for,' he said.

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