House Republicans Too Busy Trolling Each Other To Pass Spending Bills, So Hello Government Shutdown Again

Image began as a screenshot of Mike Johnson’s first presser, run through Stable Diffusion AI to ogre-ize him and his conference.

Avoiding a government shutdown was the very last thing Kevin McCarthy was able to accomplish in his brief time as speaker of the House. But once McCarthy accepted support from Democrats to keep the government running for 40 more days, the Crazier Caucus removed him, and then there were several weeks where we all wondered whether Republicans would ever choose a leader. It was like waiting on a vitally important package of shit to arrive from Amazon.

Now, with federal funding set to run out again on November 17, the same House Republicans who had failed to pass any spending bills under McCarthy are now failing to pass any spending bills under the “leadership” of their new package of shit, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana). But this time it’s better because he seems less likely to compromise with Democrats, so if Republicans can’t pass another temporary spending bill, we’re looking at a government shutdown again.

The only thing different this time is that Republicans don’t hate every atom in Johnson’s body, so there’s a chance Republicans might actually pass a “continuing resolution” (CR) to continue current levels of spending for a month or two while they continue their stupid backbiting fights with each other over the full budget bills needed to fund the USA for fiscal year 2024.

As NBC News reports, that could still be more than the Chaos Caucus and Johnson can handle:

House Republicans are all over the map when it comes to how a short-term stopgap bill […] should be structured. Most of them, however, agree that shutting the government down on Nov. 17 would be a bad idea and would cause more internal GOP strife. Further, a shutdown would be a huge distraction as the party tries to pass its remaining funding bills to set up a negotiation with the Senate on longer-term spending.

“There’s no appetite for a shutdown,” said Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., who is close to leadership and serves on both the Appropriations and Budget committees.

Even though Republicans were able to agree that they could live with Johnson as speaker, that ceasefire hasn’t extended to crafting the full spending bills needed to fund the government. This week, the House got as far as actually voting on two major appropriations bills Thursday, but leadership pulled the bills because far-Right members loaded them up with a bunch of rightwing amendments like reducing the salaries of several Biden administration officials to one dollar. Even if that crap passed the full House somehow, it would be DOA in the Democratic-controlled Senate. As CNN ‘splains,

The transportation bill was yanked earlier this week because moderate Republicans from the northeast were opposed to transit cuts. And the Financial Services bill was facing opposition from both moderates, who were balking over language to block a DC law that bars employers from discriminating against employees over their reproductive health choices, as well some members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, who were unhappy that some of their amendments – including one to defund money allocated for a new FBI headquarters – didn’t get adopted.

But you HAVE to punish the FBI for its crimes against Trump; otherwise why even have a federal government?

Similar fights encrappened the last GOP attempt at passing a short-term bill, as Freedom Caucus members demanded huge spending cuts as the price of keeping the government running at all. It’s not at all clear that a CR with deep budget cuts could pass in the House, and even if it did, it would go nowhere in the Senate. Yes, we all know this song, don’t we?

House Democrats under Minority Leader Hakeeem Jeffries have made clear that they won’t support anything but a “clean CR” that simply continues funding at current levels, like the extension McCarthy agreed to earlier.

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is preparing to move ahead with a clean CR, to have it ready in case House Republicans keep flailing.

“I implore Speaker Johnson and our House Republican colleagues to learn from the fiasco of a month ago,” Mr. Schumer said. “Hard-right proposals, hard-right slashing cuts, hard-right poison pills that have zero support from Democrats will only make a shutdown more likely. I hope they don’t go down that path in the week to come.”

That’s exactly what Republicans seem likely to do, so we’re likely to spend a good part of next week wondering what exactly the Shit Delivery Truck will bring this time.

[NBC News / CNN / NYT]

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Genard Musay

Genard is a reporter who reports on the biggest breaking news stories of the day as well as doing investigations and original stories

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