Speaker Mike Johnson Attempts to Pass Short-Term Funding Bill

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) is continuing to promote a short-term stopgap funding bill that is meant to prevent a partial government shutdown this week, earning criticism from conservative Republicans.

As reported by the New York Post, Johnson said in a statement on Sunday that “last week, House Republicans achieved an improved topline agreement that will finally allow the House and Senate to complete the annual appropriations bills.” The spending bill, which will cost $1.66 trillion, was agreed to as a compromise between Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The deal would temporarily extend government funding, providing $888 billion for defense spending until March 1st and $704 billion in discretionary spending until March 8th. In addition, an extra $69 billion would be added to current levels of discretionary spending as the result of a side deal that was negotiated between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the Biden Administration last year.

Johnson defended the bill by claiming that it would eliminate “the worst gimmicks included in the previous side deals in the Fiscal Responsibility Act,” the deal that was previously passed by McCarthy. “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.”

Following Johnson’s announcement, the X account of the House Freedom Caucus declared that “this is what surrender looks like.”

“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,” the Caucus continued. Johnson’s decision to move forward with the bill comes despite efforts by Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good (R-Va.) to meet with Johnson last week and convince him to cancel the deal.

While House Republicans are divided over Johnson’s compromise bill, the party is much more united in their opposition to another attempt at a bipartisan deal introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), which would increase the number of green-card holders in the United States to an annual rate of 50,000, while also allowing for up to 5,000 illegal aliens to be processed on a daily basis. Lankford negotiated the draft legislation with Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), with the lax immigration changes meant to be in exchange for increased border security.

When news of the draft bill first broke, Johnson reacted with an X post simply reading: “Absolutely not.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) walks out of his office to depart the U.S. Capitol on January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, a group of right-wing House Republicans sabotaged their own party's bills in protest of a spending deal the Speaker cut with Senate Democrats. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)