The Senate votes to prevent a government shutdown; Next vote in the House of Representatives

(Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press)

The Senate votes to prevent a government shutdown; Next vote in the House of Representatives


January 18, 2024

The Senate voted Thursday to extend current federal spending and keep the government open, sending a short-term measure to the House of Representatives that would prevent a shutdown and delay a final budget package until early March.

The House is expected to vote on the measure and send it to President Biden later in the day.

The relief bill, which passed the Senate on a 77-18 vote, follows a bipartisan spending deal between House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) this month and a subsequent agreement to expand current spending so that the two chambers have sufficient time to pass individual spending bills.

The temporary measure would run until March 1 for some federal agencies whose approved funds would run out Friday and extend the rest of government operations until March 8.

Johnson is under pressure from his right flank to scrap the budget deal with Schumer, and the bill to keep the government running will need Democratic support to pass the Republican-majority House. Johnson has insisted he will stick to the deal as moderates in the party have urged him not to withdraw.

It would be the third time Congress has increased current spending, as Republicans in the House of Representatives bitterly disagree over budget levels and some on the right have demanded sharper cuts. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) was ousted by his caucus in October after first striking a deal with Democrats to extend current spending. Johnson has also been criticized for struggling with how to appease his members and avoid a government shutdown in an election year.

We just needed a little more time on the calendar to do it, and now we’re there, Johnson said Tuesday of the decision to extend federal funding again. We won’t get everything we want.

Most Republicans in the House of Representatives have so far refrained from saying Johnson’s job is in jeopardy. But a revolt by even a handful of Republicans could jeopardize his position in the closely divided House.

Virginia Rep. Bob Good, one of eight Republicans who voted to impeach McCarthy, has pushed Johnson to reconsider the deal with Schumer.

If your opponent knows during the negotiation that you fear the consequences of not reaching an agreement more than they fear the consequences of not reaching an agreement, you will lose every time, Good said this week.

Other Republicans acknowledge that Johnson is in a difficult situation. The speaker was dealing with the hand he was dealing with, said Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr. We can only lose one vote on the majority side. I think it will have to be twofold.

The short-term measure comes amid negotiations over a separate spending package that would provide war dollars to Ukraine and Israel and strengthen security at the U.S.-Mexico border. Johnson is also under pressure from the right not to accept a deal weaker than a House-passed border measure that lacks Democratic support.

Johnson, Schumer and other congressional leaders and committee heads visited the White House on Wednesday to discuss that spending legislation. Johnson used the meeting to push for stronger border security measures, while Biden and Democrats assessed Ukraine’s security needs as the country continues to battle Russia.

Biden has requested a $110 billion package for war spending and border security.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles