Government Shutdown

The recent struggle to fund the government and avoid a federal shutdown led to the downfall of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Now, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is navigating through similar challenges as the House gears up for a vote on a temporary funding package to prevent a shutdown and extend government operations into the new year. The Senate is expected to follow suit before the deadline this Friday.

Speaker Johnson, the new Republican leader, confronts the same political hurdles that resulted in McCarthy’s exit. Gaining sufficient support from the Republican majority to pass the bill alone seems improbable, necessitating reliance on Democratic votes to ensure the government remains operational.

Johnson has described the bill as a “necessary” measure, viewing it as a strategic step for House Republicans to advance their conservative goals in the upcoming year.

In-Depth Coverage

  • Approaching Deadline: Speaker Mike Johnson scrambles for a funding solution as the government shutdown threat intensifies.
  • Biden-Johnson Dynamics: An inside look at the interactions, briefings, and disagreements over foreign aid between President Joe Biden and Speaker Johnson.
  • House Republican Strategy: Efforts to pass a two-stage package to avert a government shutdown.

Johnson’s approach involves a unique two-part funding process, temporarily financing certain federal agencies until January 19 and others until February 2. This continuing resolution (CR) does not include the significant cuts demanded by conservatives and excludes President Biden’s nearly $106 billion request for Ukraine, Israel, border security, and other supplementary funding.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a Freedom Caucus member, criticized the plan, highlighting considerable resistance within the Republican ranks to collaborating with Democrats on the bill.

Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries stated the party is thoroughly assessing the Republican proposal. Despite concerns about the bifurcated approach, Jeffries noted in a communication with Democratic colleagues that the GOP package aligns with Democratic priorities of maintaining current funding levels without drastic reductions or divisive Republican policy elements.

Johnson’s precarious position in the narrowly divided House compels him to seek Democratic support, a strategy that previously led to McCarthy’s removal after the September 30 vote that averted a shutdown.

Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., expressed confidence in Johnson’s strategy, indicating a willingness to support the Speaker’s decision.

The Senate, led by a slim Democratic majority, also seems inclined to accept Johnson’s proposal before Friday’s deadline. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell endorsed the House GOP package, emphasizing the need to address Biden’s requests for military aid and other necessities separately.

If passed, this continuing resolution would mark a significant conclusion to the House GOP’s first year in majority control. Efforts to reduce federal spending have been met with resistance from within the GOP, with two Republican bills failing last week due to moderate opposition.

As a result, the government continues to operate at the funding levels established at the end of 2022, when Democrats controlled Congress. However, if new budget terms are not agreed upon by spring, automatic 1% cuts across all departments will be triggered in April, a scenario disliked by both parties.

This report includes contributions from Kevin Freking, Stephen Groves, and Mary Clare Jalonick of Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Government Shutdown Strategy

What led to the downfall of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy?

The struggle to fund the government and avoid a federal shutdown culminated in the removal of Kevin McCarthy from his position as House Speaker.

What is Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan to prevent a government shutdown?

Speaker Johnson proposes a two-part funding process, temporarily financing certain federal agencies until January 19 and others until February 2, in a bid to keep the government operational and prevent a shutdown.

Why is Speaker Johnson relying on Democratic support for the funding bill?

Due to insufficient support from his Republican majority, Johnson is compelled to depend on Democrats to pass the bill and ensure the continuation of government operations.

What are the criticisms of Johnson’s funding strategy?

The plan has faced criticism for its bifurcated approach and for not including significant cuts or President Biden’s request for additional funding for Ukraine, Israel, and border security.

What is the significance of the proposed continuing resolution?

If passed, this resolution would be a notable conclusion to the House GOP’s first year in majority, highlighting the challenges in reducing federal spending and the need for bipartisan cooperation.

More about Government Shutdown Strategy

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EconWatch November 14, 2023 - 6:31 pm

those automatic cuts in April sound brutal, why isn’t there more focus on that? seems like a ticking time bomb for the budget.

MartyJ November 15, 2023 - 12:27 am

wow, politics is always a mess, right? Johnson’s got his work cut out for him with this funding stuff, not sure if his plan’s gonna work though…

FinanceGuru77 November 15, 2023 - 8:21 am

i think Johnson’s approach is kinda risky. partnering with Dems could backfire, remember what happened to McCarthy…

JaneDoeWrites November 15, 2023 - 11:12 am

Did anyone else notice how this bill doesn’t include Biden’s request for the overseas funds? big oversight, or maybe a strategic move?

RealPoliticFan November 15, 2023 - 11:31 am

it’s all about the bipartisanship nowadays, Johnson’s playing a tough game here. but will it pay off? only time will tell, guess.


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