Speaker Johnson Draws Line in the Sand Over Government Spending Legislation

By Jerry McConway, updated on November 1, 2023

Speaker Johnson (R-LA) took over the House gavel at a time when the clock was ticking for federal budget legislation.

The White House is insisting that Johnson stand by a deal that was made with former Speaker McCarthy (R-CA), but Johnson is drawing a line in the sand, insisting that multi-subject spending bills are a no-go for him as Speaker.

Talking Points…

  • Single-issue v. Omnibus
  • Johnson draws the line
  • My Two Cents...

Single-issue Spending v. Omnibus

Historically, omnibus spending by Congress has been a complete and utter disaster.

We often see these massive bills come to the floor only hours before a vote takes place, giving members no time at all to read them. This is done on purpose to hide all the additional spending before the bill comes to a vote.

Look at Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act as an example. The bill was touted to fight inflation, but there was almost $80 billion slated for the IRS and hundreds of billions going to the green energy sector. Even Biden later came out and said he never should have named the bill the Inflation Reduction Act.

Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry flat-out called it a climate bill.

One of the key gripes of American voters is not having any idea what these pieces of legislation actually fund, and the answer is and always has been to present stand-alone legislation for every bill. When McCarthy broke that promise, it allowed Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to pounce and have him ousted from office.

Johnson Draws the Line

Johnson was put in place on the promise of keeping single-issue legislation in place, and he is drawing a firm line in the sand.

The Senate is trying to challenge that by putting together what it is calling a minibus piece of legislation that will cover spending for three different areas, but Johnson is saying no.

The new Speaker stated:

"We've sent appropriations bills over to the Senate and they have done nothing with them. Ultimately, we are going to be in a conference committee working out final agreements and all these things, but we are hopeful that the Senate will do their job."

Johnson also touched on the problems with larger omnibus legislation, stating:

"The problem with omnibus and minibus spending bills is that it's irresponsible… Too much money is spent, there's often not enough accountability for it. And the American people are not able to adequately follow how their [money] is being spent. And we have to change that.

"We owe that to the people, to restore some sort of common sense in this process and allow the citizens that we represent to be able to follow and understand what's happening here."

My Two Cents…

Spending is and has been out of control in this country for decades, and it is time for someone to draw that line in the sand and say enough.

Personally, I love the idea of single-issue legislation and would say that we need that for every bill that is passed in Congress.

It would make it far easier for members to vote, there would be no hiding of pet projects in legislation, and it would make it much easier for the average American to understand the purpose of every bill passed in Congress.

Just watch and pay attention to the people on both sides of the aisle who are objecting to this because they are the ones who would love to keep that veil of secrecy over how Congress spends taxpayer dollars.

Look no further than Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is losing his mind over the fact that Johnson has decided to dig in on this. It is yet more proof that McConnell's time has passed in terms of representing what modern-day Republicans want to see from their government.

As November 17 draws nearer, the pressure on Johnson will increase, but he cannot afford to blink if he wants to get the support of GOP voters on this issue.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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