Gov't Shutdown Avoided, but New Speaker Warns: 'We're in Such Trouble with Our Federal Debt'
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The U.S. House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to prevent a government shutdown by passing yet another emergency funding measure.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson needed the support of Democrats to make that happen after 93 Republicans voted against it.
Johnson's proposal temporarily funds the government into the new year. The Senate is expected to approve the measure by the end of the week.
Speaker Johnson's "laddered CR" (Continuing Resolution) plan funds some government agencies until January and the rest until February at current 2023 levels. But Johnson says he wants to avoid these last-minute, year-end omnibus bills in the future.
"As long as I've been in Congress, we have governed by omnibus bills right before Christmas. It is a terrible way to run a railroad. And the reason that we're in such trouble with our federal debt is because Congress is addicted, obsessed with this deficit spending," Johnson told reporters.
Members of the Republican House Freedom Caucus had formally come out against the plan saying in part "no more rolling over today and fighting tomorrow." In the end they were overruled. But Johnson may not get a pass the next time around because issues over a CR and negotiating with Democrats ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the speakership this year.
"We are not surrendering, we're fighting," Johnson said. "But you have to be wise about choosing the fights, you have to have fights that you can win, and we're going to. You're going to see this House majority stand together on our principal and we're going to do that."
"It took decades to get into this mess. I've been on the job for three weeks. I can't turn an aircraft carrier overnight, but this was a very important first step to get us to the next stage so we can change how Washington works," he said.
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