The House passed a short-term spending extension only hours after the bill cleared the Senate, pushing the next shutdown threat to March and surrendering Republican leverage on enacting a border security package.
The continuing resolution (CR) passed 314-108, extending spending levels and priorities set by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in December 2022 during a lame-duck session of Congress.
The outcome was not in doubt, although many Republicans made clear their opposition to yet another CR.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) faced a last-minute push from conservatives to attach border security measures to the CR, a process that likely would have delayed House passage of the bill until Friday and sent it back to the Senate, which, in all likelihood, would have not even brought the bill up for a vote.
But with two to three inches of snow expected in the capitol on Friday, Johnson opted to advance the CR as passed by the Senate and send the House home for the weekend.
Republicans aimed frustration at the CR toward Democrats, who refused to address the border. Yet many decried it “business as usual” of yet another short-term funding fix.
“The question for my colleagues on this side of the aisle is ‘what are we gonna do about it?’” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said on the House floor before the vote, referencing his fellow Republicans campaigning on border security yet refusing to go to the mat to address the problem.
Rep. Chip Roy opposes CR, says Democrats are refusing to do anything” about “wide open borders.” A Democrat in the House chamber tries shouting him down.
Roy responds: “They can shake their heads all they want, but the blood of the people in Texas is on their hands.” pic.twitter.com/wveGdpZgL4
— Bradley Jaye (@bradleyajaye) January 18, 2024
The bill was passed under suspension of the rules, which allows for speedier consideration of legislation but requires two-thirds support for passage.
While Johnson easily met the necessary margin for passage, another number spells potential trouble for him.
A single vote assured Johnson received 107 Republican votes, giving him a majority of Republican support over the 106 nay votes.
However, Breitbart News is told that a last-minute switch to yes was necessary to ensure Johnson achieved the majority.
Conference rules adopted by House Republicans at the beginning of the Congress require majority support from Republicans for a speaker to advance legislation.
Perhaps more significantly, the tally represents increasing frustration with Johnson’s speakership. Johnson himself had promised in 2023 not to advance any additional CRs, although he has now done so twice.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from his post after advancing a CR at the end of September 2023. Several of those voting to take his gavel justified their vote with McCarthy’s endorsement of the CR.
HISTORIC: House Votes to Remove Kevin McCarthy from Speakership
U.S. House of Representatives
McCarthy resigned from Congress in December.
President Joe Biden has until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to sign the bill and avert a partial government shutdown.
The CR maintains the laddered CR approach, with the first tranche of government funding expiring on March 1 and the second on March 8.
Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.