December 9, 2023
House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to Avert Shutdown - The Thinking Conservative
House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to Avert Shutdown - The Thinking Conservative
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209 Democrats joined 127 Republicans to pass Speaker Johnson’s two-step measure to fund the government through January.

The House of Representatives on Nov. 14 passed a stop-gap spending bill to continue government funding in two stages through Feb. 2.

209 Democrats joined 127 Republicans to pass the measure in a vote of 336-95. It was opposed by 93 Republicans and two Democrats.

The bipartisan passage produced a major win for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), whose predecessor was ousted after passing a similar bill in September.

The bill was considered under a suspension of rules, meaning that it required a two-thirds majority to pass. That tactic was an apparent attempt to avoid having the bill torpedoed during a procedural vote that would otherwise have been required.

It now heads to the Senate, which has until midnight on Nov. 17 to pass the measure or risk a government shutdown.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both support the action.

The speaker, who assumed office on Oct. 25 amid a legislative battle over federal funding, began barely three weeks before the stop-gap funding bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), approved on Sept. 30 was set to expire.

That prompted Mr. Johnson to propose another CR but with a unique feather.

This bill, H.R. 6363, “Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2024,” would extend the funding authority for various functions of the federal government in two stages.

The Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Water, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs through Jan. 19.

Funding for the departments covered by the remaining eight spending bills would be extended through Feb. 2.

Continuing resolutions have been increasingly unpopular with fiscally conservative Republicans. Mr. Johnson defended this CR as both a useful innovation and a last resort.

“This was a very important first step to … change how Washington works,” Mr. Johnson told reporters on Nov. 14.

“I think every member in that room agrees that that’s an important innovation, and it changes the way things are done.”

By Lawrence Wilson and Joseph Lord

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