For the 4th time in a year, more House Democrats than Republicans voted to avert a fiscal disaster — even though the GOP controls the chamber

  • The House passed a bill to avert a government shutdown for a few weeks, sending it to Biden‘s desk.

  • More Democrats than Republicans voted for it — the 4th time this has happened for must-pass bills.

  • Despite controlling the House, GOP leaders have consistently had to rely on Democratic votes.

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday evening that temporarily extends government funding — and way more Democrats than Republicans voted for it.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the fourth time something like it has happened this year — even though Republicans technically control the chamber by a slim margin.

“It does not matter who’s sitting in the speaker’s seat, or who’s holding the majority,” an angry Rep. Chip Roy of Texas declared in a floor speech ahead of the vote. “We keep doing the same stupid stuff.”

The short-term funding bill, negotiated in part by House Speaker Mike Johnson, passed 314-108, with 207 Democrats and 107 Republicans voting for it.

106 Republicans voted against it, while just 2 Democrats did the same.

Having easily passed the Senate earlier on Thursday, the bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk ahead what would have been a partial government shutdown on Saturday.

And it passed despite last-minute right-wing gripes, with members of the House Freedom Caucus and others trying to attach hardline immigration policies to the must-pass bill.

The right flank of the GOP conference has increasingly fumed at Johnson in much the same way they did at McCarthy, accusing him of not using must-pass bills to advance their hardline priorities — even as Democrats continue to hold the Senate and the White House.

Lawmakers now face two deadlines — March 1 and March 8 — to fund the entirety of the government for the rest of the year.

Democrats keep shouldering more of the burden of governing than Republicans

In the year since Republicans assumed control of the House — and particularly since the summer — chaos and lack of productivity have been major overarching themes.

Torn between mainstream members and hardliners who hope to enact sweeping right-wing policy changes, Republicans have often shown themselves unable to handle must-pass legislation without the help of Democrats.

The first time this dynamic came into view was at the very end of May, when then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated a bill to raise the debt limit through the 2024 election. Breaching the debt limit would have led to a default on the country’s debt, triggering a widespread fiscal crisis.

The House passed that bill by a 314-117 margin, with 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans voting for it. At that point, the discrepancy wasn’t that great — there were aspects of the deal that Democrats disliked, and the same was true of Republicans.

Then came the end of September.

Facing a government funding deadline — aka, a possible government shutdown — McCarthy put forward a bill that would fund the government for another two months.

It passed by a 335-91 margin, with 209 Democrats and 126 Republicans voting for it. Put another way: Every vote against funding the government came from Republicans, except for one.

That vote ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida forced a vote to oust McCarthy the following week, and the House was thrown into chaos for most of October.

Having squandered half of the time that they’d given themselves to pass government funding bills, the House was forced to pass another short-term continuing resolution in November, but with a twist: It would be a “laddered,” giving lawmakers two deadlines roughly a week apart for different parts of the federal government.

That bill passed 336-95, with 209 Democrats and 127 Republicans voting for it. Just 2 Democrats were among the opposition.

Johnson, then still brand new, was given some grace by hardliners, even though McCarthy had just been ousted for doing the same thing: putting a clean extension of government funding up for a vote.

But this time, the Louisiana Republican faced simmering and vocal anger from the right, with some even alluding to a potential vote to oust him.

“Our Speaker, Mr. Johnson, said he was the most conservative speaker we’ve ever had, and yet here we are, putting this bill on the floor,” said. Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona in a floor speech ahead of the vote, adding that the situation is what “led to us to vacate Speaker McCarthy in the first place.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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