President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday that will prevent a government shutdown for two months. The stopgap spending measure will keep Washington funded until the end of January.
Although President Biden’s approval of the temporary spending bill got all the top billing in the press, the real unsung hero who averted a government shutdown was newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).
Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress were not able to broker an agreement until Johnson submitted a “two-step” compromise solution.
The two parties in Washington are still clashing over issues like funding for the wars in Ukraine and Israel, but now they’ll have two months to get their differences sorted out and find a lasting solution to fund the federal government.
Meanwhile, critical government agencies like the Veteran’s Administration and Social Security Administration, and the nation’s federal police and courts, will not be shut down and furloughed. That’s all thanks to some leadership from Rep. Johnson.
As PBS NewsHour reports, the emergency funding bill will keep the federal government funded at its current level for two more months. Furthermore, it splits up the deadlines for passing full fiscal year budgets. Those deadlines are now Jan 19 and Feb 2 for different government agencies.
Although it was not favored in the Senate, Johnson stepping up and backing the two-step budget solution eventually rallied both houses to come to an agreement to keep the government funded until late January and early February.
That’s the kind of leadership Republicans were looking for in a new House speaker after the historic ouster last month that removed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the speakership.
The two-step maneuver away from a government shut-down has earned Johnson accolades as the honeymoon period for his new speakership ends.
Former President Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, backed Mike Johnson for speaker during the contentious search for a new House leader.
On Oct 25, Trump posted on Truth Social, “My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson.” Back during the Trump impeachment hearings, Johnson went to bat for Donald Trump. He also initially contested the results of the 2020 election.