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Conservatives Reject Procedural Vote in Protest Against Johnson’s Spending Deal

Conservatives Reject Procedural Vote in Protest Against Johnson's Spending Deal

A band of House conservatives tanked a procedural vote Wednesday in a rebellion against the spending deal Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) struck with Democrats. This action was sharply criticized by the members of the right flank.

A group of thirteen Republicans, in collaboration with Democrats, opposed the rule for three unrelated bills, consequently blocking the House from deliberating and voting on the proposed measures. The vice chair of the House GOP conference, Representative Blake Moore (R-Utah), altered his vote to dissent from the rule just before the vote concluded. This strategic move enables him to reintroduce the rule for another vote at a later date.

Conservatives Revolt Over Mike Johnson's Deal to Avert Shutdown - The New York Times

The display of opposition occurred several days following Johnson’s announcement of a deal outlining the top-line spending figures for the remainder of fiscal 2024. Critics from the conservative faction have strongly criticized the deal, arguing that it falls short in terms of spending reductions.

McCarthy (R-Calif.) reached an agreement with President Biden last year, incorporating a top line of $1.59 trillion, along with approximately $69 billion in budget adjustments to augment nondefense funding for the majority of fiscal 2024. The agreement also involves an extra $10 billion reduction in IRS mandatory funding and a reclaim of $6.1 billion in unutilized COVID-19 funds.

Full List of Republicans To Speak Out Against Mike Johnson's Spending Deal

The new chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Bob Good has told reporters that, “We’re making a statement that what the deal, as has been announced, that doesn’t secure the border and that doesn’t cut our spending, and that’s going to be passed apparently under suspension of the rules with predominantly Democrat votes is unacceptable.”

Votes on rules, which establish the guidelines for debates, are usually routine, with the majority party backing the vote and the minority party opposing it. However, conservatives in this Congress have adopted the strategy of thwarting rules to express their dissatisfaction with various leadership decisions.

When questioned about whether rules will continue to be thwarted by conservatives as a gesture of opposition against Johnson’s spending deal, Good responded, “My hope is for the Speaker, the leadership, and the entire Republican conference to be persuaded not to proceed with the deal as it has been announced.”

However, Johnson expressed with confidence that the deal would remain intact after the rule failed.

“It’s going to survive,” was expressed by Johnson during an interview on Fox News Channel. “What I’ve conveyed to Ralph Norman and Chip Roy, who are my close friends, I’m also a conservative hardliner, that’s been my entire career in Congress and all of my years as a legislator. Cutting spending, this is a big priority for us, the Republican Party.”

“What was negotiated in the topline agreement for the appropriations going forward is an innovation,” it was stated. “An effort is being made to return to the process of having 12 appropriations bills instead of relying on omnibus spending bills for governance. This was achieved at the end of last year, and now there is a need to delve into the individual spending bills.”

The next stage, as he highlighted, includes pushing for the incorporation of conservative policy riders into the appropriations bills.

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