Congress Passes Last Minute Bill to Avert Shutdown

Congress Passes Last Minute Bill to Avert Shutdown

( – Congress had until January 19 to pass a government spending bill to avoid a partial shutdown. The day before the deadline, lawmakers passed a short-term bill, but not everyone was happy about it.

On January 18, the House passed the continuing resolution by 314-108. The bill pushed the deadlines for the next funding bills to March 1 for the first and March 8 for the second. The decision to pass the short-term bill gives lawmakers more than a month to work out issues to approve formal appropriations bills.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) had to rely on Democrats to pass the continuing resolution. He brought the legislation to the floor by suspending the rules in order to fast-track the process, allowing him to avoid having to approve a rule first, which the Freedom Caucus would have blocked. When former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-GA) passed a similar measure in October, he was kicked out of office and eventually forced out of Congress.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Chip Roy (R-TX) have made remarks about forcing a motion to vacate, the same thing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) did to McCarthy. However, unlike with the former speaker, Johnson appears to have more support even though some members aren’t particularly thrilled about his decision to keep the government open without massive changes to immigration policy.

Prior to the vote, Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) criticized Johnson’s decision to form a coalition with Democrats to pass the short-term funding measure. He said members of his caucus have been “trying to help him and be a partner” with Johnson, but he decided to work with Dems.

For his part, Johnson has promised to fight hard to include his party’s policy riders in the 12 appropriations bills that have to pass for fiscal 2024. He told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he thinks the GOP will be able to get their “policy riders and [their] policy changes.”

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