More House Democrats than Republicans vote to keep the government open

More Democrats than Republicans voted in the US House of Representatives for a temporary stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

Some 209 Democrats voted for the bill while 127 Republicans opposed the legislation for a “laddered” continuing resolution that would keep parts of the government funded until 19 January 2024 and other parts until 2 February 2024.

The vote is a win for newly-elected Speaker Mike Johnson, who proposed the two-tiered approach as a means to avoid passing an “omnibus” spending bill, but rather to pass 12 individual spending bills, a demand from right-wing members of the House Republican conference.

The vote came after House Democratic Leadership – including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar – announced their support for the legislation. Democratic leaders said they supported the legislation because it did not include any steep cuts.

“To that end, House Democrats have repeatedly articulated that any continuing resolution must be set at the fiscal year 2023 spending level, be devoid of harmful cuts and free of extreme right-wing policy riders,” they said in a joint statement. “The continuing resolution before the House today meets that criteria and we will support it.”

The legislation now goes to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed openness to the bill despite his criticisms. Mr Schumer said during his press conference on Tuesday that Mr Johnson agreed to the parameters that Mr Schumer requested.

“One, not making the heartbreak cuts that the MAGA right demands,” he told reporters. “And second, making sure that if they’re going to do this sort of goofy ladder, that defense is in the second part of the ladder, not the first.”


Many right-wing Republicans criticised the approach, but refrained from criticising Mr Johnson personally. Rep Ken Buck (R-CO), who voted with seven other Republicans to depose Kevin McCarthy as speaker, said Mr Johnson faced a different set of circumstances.

“What happened with Kevin was he knew that we weren’t on schedule with the appropriations bills,” he told The Independent. “Now, Johnson inherits that mess, and Johnson’s got to do something about it.”

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