Speaker Johnson Facing Resistance on Spending Package

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 6, 2024

Once again, the clock is ticking for Congress to present Joe Biden with a spending package to avoid a government shutdown.

Now, not only are there members of the Freedom Caucus drumming up support to shoot down the legislation, but Heritage Action, an arm of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, is recommending Republicans block the bill in the House.

Talking Points…
- Freedom Caucus will not support legislation
- Heritage Action will not support legislation
- Analysis

Freedom Caucus Comes Out Against Spending Package

One of the biggest reasons that Speaker Emeritus McCarthy (R-CA) was removed from office was because it was business as usual. Now, Speaker Johnson (R-LA) is facing the same thing by grouping a series of bills together to present an omnibus bill in the House. There are already reports of legislators on both sides of the aisle burying earmarks in the bill, which has once again drawn the ire of the House Freedom Caucus.

Omnibus bills have always been a disaster for the American people. Members of Congress bury earmarks deep inside the legislation that we often do not find out about until after the president’s signature is on the bill. This is precisely why the Freedom Caucus has been demanding single-issue legislation. So, when the bill was finally presented as an omnibus bill, there was an objection:

“The House Freedom Caucus opposes the $1.65 trillion omnibus spending bill, which will be decided in two halves, the first being brought to the floor this week under suspension of the rules. Even in the face of $34.4 trillion in national debt, the omnibus will bust the bipartisan spending caps signed into law less than a year ago and is loaded with hundreds of pages of earmarks worth billions.

“Despite giving Democrats higher spending levels, the omnibus text released so far punts on nearly every single Republican policy priority. Worst of all, the omnibus surrenders Republicans’ leverage to force radical Democrats to the table to truly secure the southern border and end the purposeful, dangerous mass release of illegal aliens into the United States.”

The House Freedom Caucus concluded:

“As with other recent spending bills, it is likely this omnibus receives more Democrat than Republican support. House Freedom Caucus Members urge all Republicans to oppose both halves of the omnibus.”

Heritage Action Does Not Support Spending Bill

Once the Freedom Caucus shot down the legislation, it was a given that conservative think tanks would be taking the same tact. Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker issued his think tank’s opposition to the bill, stating:

“Our country is $34 trillion in debt, and taxpayers will spend $870 billion on our interest payments alone this year. The time for barely noticeable budget cuts on the margins is over, and this minibus package fails to meet the moment.”

Walker then took direct aim at lawmakers for refusing to listen to conservative desires on this out-of-control spending by our government, stating:

“Conservatives have repeatedly sounded the alarm about our bloated balance sheet and wide-open border for months. But lawmakers disregarded those warnings, and after almost a year of negotiations produced a minibus barely distinguishable from the unacceptable bills of the past.”

Analysis

This is a massive problem for Speaker Johnson, who is already hanging on by a thread. I fully expect this legislation to get more Democratic support than Republican support, and when that happens, it could be only a matter of time before a motion to vacate is made against Johnson in the House.

The sad reality is that this could have been a huge win for Johnson, even if they had gathered individual bills to present as a minibus. The problems started when earmarks were allowed to be added, which has always been the issue with omnibus bills. So, for now, it is business as usual, but I am not sure how much longer business will be conducted in the House once this bill passes through.

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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