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House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) managed to survive for a while longer on Thursday after a small group of restive Republicans threatened to revolt over budget spending and border security.
Reports noted that a resolution to permit consideration of three unrelated measures managed to secure a simple majority, largely along party lines, with a single Republican—Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida—voting no and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) voting “present.” A half-dozen other Republican members did not cast a vote, the Daily Wire reported.
In an X post, Luna ripped a “topline” appropriations bill worth roughly $1.6 trillion that Johnson managed to hammer out with Democrats in the chamber for fiscal year 2024.
“FACT: (President Joe) Biden’s $1.6 trillion proposal is a debt bomb for future Americans. Senate Republicans, it’s time to defend our children’s financial freedom,” she wrote.
In addition, Luna called for the passage of a bill that is solely focused on requiring the Biden administration to enforce existing border laws and boost border security. On X, she wrote: “Congress. Needs. A. Stand. Alone. Border. Bill.”
This is while Senate Democrats and Republicans are working on a deal that links stronger border reforms with new aid to American allies like Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.
The Daily Wire noted:
After 13 Republican lawmakers — including Luna and Roy — joined with all voting Democrats to defeat the same resolution on Wednesday, Johnson met with the holdouts earlier on Thursday. Following the meeting, some members told reporters that Johnson would back out of his spending deal with Democrats and a new plan would be drawn up.
But the speaker said otherwise. “I’ve made no commitments,” Johnson insisted, noting that conversations were ongoing.
Speaker Johnson quells the rumors that he is considering renegotiating the deal reached with Schumer “I’ve made no commitments” pic.twitter.com/vOWWdXWHs4
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotcnn) January 11, 2024
With the current $1.6 trillion topline figure in mind, lawmakers are working against the clock to draft a dozen appropriations bills. A potential government shutdown is on the horizon, as a two-step continuing resolution (CR) passed in November funds specific federal agencies until January 19, while others receive funding until February 2. In anticipation, the Democrat-led Senate has initiated the process of passing an additional stop-gap measure.
Similar to the previous uprising by a small group of Republicans against then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last year, the House GOP rebellion on Wednesday. Ultimately, that revolt resulted in vacating the Speaker’s chair in a historic first.
Roy has stated that he is not ruling out the use of the “motion to vacate” mechanism against Johnson, the Daily Wire reported. Roy also voiced his disapproval of the overall spending agreement and pushed for border security reforms in line with a comprehensive bill that the House passed last year, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is unwilling to consider.
Johnson, who is working with an extremely thin GOP majority, indicated that he is not concerned about facing a similar fate as McCarthy. “I don’t think I’m in any jeopardy of being vacated. It’s not something I walk around and think about,” the speaker told Fox News.
In late December, a report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed a shocking number of illegal migrant crossings since President Joe Biden reversed nearly all of his predecessor’s border enforcement policies on his first day in office.
According to Just the News, which cited the ICE report, ”the backlog of aliens inside the United States awaiting decisions has nearly doubled under President Joe Biden to more than 6 million while arrests of suspected terrorists and violent offenders have also exploded.”
The outlet continued, “The year-end report from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement released Friday showed nearly every measure of illegal immigration rose substantially in 2023, candidly admitting that the agency has suffered greatly as a result of the southern border’s overrun by millions of illegal crossers.”
“While ICE carefully prioritized its resources to meet these evolving mission needs and agency personnel continued to perform at a high standard, these increased demands have strained a workforce that has remained relatively static for the past decade,” the report said, according to the outlet.