OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Republican-controlled House may need to pass yet another short-term funding bill to keep the government open and running as the deadline for the previous continuing resolution rapidly approaches, according to the chamber’s new leader.
“Our first priority is to get the government funded,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Our team is ready and working like a well-oiled machine.”
Newsmax noted further that Johnson said an energy and water appropriations measure was passed last week, just a day after he took the gavel, “and we’re moving as quickly as possible and trying to beat the deadline” of Nov. 17 when the current funding bill runs out.
However, he said, if the deadline nears and “we’re unable to finish (as) it is detailed work and it takes some time, we’ll look at another stopgap measure.”
He added, “If we run out of time on the calendar, we may need a little bit more to complete it.”
House Republicans are focused on reducing spending, as “we’re haunted by the federal debt, $33.6 trillion… we have to keep that in mind always.” They also want to reduce “the woke and weaponized federal government” while cutting spending and increasing accountability.
“All of that comes into the equation of the debate, whatever the topline number is,” he said. “We worked hard to come in beneath it, and you will see that happening over the coming days.”
Asked how long of a temporary funding gap he would support, the Speaker said he favored a deadline of Jan. 15.
“Oftentimes, the Senate tries to jam the House and nominate an omnibus bill,” he said. “We’re not doing that. We have single-subject bills and our separate appropriations bill. Pushing that into January, I think, would assist us in the endeavor.”
Asked about the future of the rule that allows one House Republican member to move to vacate the Speaker’s chair, which was used to oust predecessor Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Johnson said: “Everyone has told me the rule has to change.
“I’m not afraid of it because I’m going to openly work (on) transparency with every member, and everyone will fully understand what we’re doing and why that’s a big part of it,” he told Fox News.
The rule makes it “difficult for any speaker” to do the job, so “we will have some discussions about that, but it’s not my highest priority,” Johnson said.
“I said in my speech when I took the oath (I want) to decentralize the power,” he added. “I want to empower our chairman, the committees of jurisdiction, and all of the talented people in the House, make them more of a part of the big decisions and situations in the process, and ensure regular order. If we do that, we don’t have to worry about a motion to vacate.”
When asked if he thinks the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden will become an official impeachment, he knows that the committee chairmen behind the investigation are “working methodically,” but an impeachment will not be used for “political partisan games” like the Democrats “did against Donald Trump twice.”
He said he’s also looking at a subpoena to bring Hunter Biden in to testify to Congress.
“I think desperate times call for desperate measures,” he said. “That perhaps is overdue.”
He said he’ll be speaking with the attorneys involved, but at the same time, “we’re trying to move forward on this aggressively.”
“I think American people are owed these answers and are suspicious about all of this,” Johnson said. “The evidence that we have gathered so far is affirming what many of us fear may be the worst.
“As (House Oversight Committee Chairman) Jamie Comer (R-Ky.) likes to say, ‘Bank records don’t lie.’ We have a lot of evidence; the dots are being connected, and we will see where it leads.”