Written by Ashton Snyder on
 March 23, 2024

House Passes Funding Bill With 286-134 Vote

The clock ticks loudly in Washington as Speaker Mike Johnson and the House pass a monumental $1.2 trillion spending package. This critical move aims to dodge a government shutdown, pending the nod from both the Senate and President Biden.

In a dramatic push against the deadline, the package, which melds significant portions of government funding, has stirred notable dissent within conservative circles, igniting discussions about policy priorities amidst a scramble for approval.

The legislation sailed through the House with a vote tally of 286 to 134, showcasing a rare scenario where more Democrats backed the bill compared to Republicans. This divergence reflects the complexity and urgency of the situation, as a shutdown loomed merely 12 hours away.

Internal Rifts and Rushed Decisions

Among Republicans, a solid majority of 112 members stood against the bill advocated by Speaker Johnson, signaling a deep divide within the party. This opposition underscores the contentious nature of the package, despite its critical role in averting a government closure.

The bill itself, a hefty 1,000-page document, amalgamates funding for six out of the required 12 annual appropriations bills into a singular vote. This strategy aims to cover nearly three-quarters of the government's yearly funding needs in one fell swoop. The urgency is palpable, with a deadline set before midnight on a Friday to prevent a partial shutdown.

For the spending package to effectively forestall a government shutdown, it requires swift passage by the Senate followed by President Biden's signature. The clock is ticking, and the stakes could not be higher.

Controversy and Criticism Amidst Urgency

The package earmarks funds for key departments including Defense, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education, State-Foreign Operations, and the Legislative Branch. However, this broad spectrum of funding has not quelled the storm of criticism from notable conservatives such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Matt Rosendale, and Rep. Mike Waltz, alongside nearly 100 other Republicans.

Rep. Greene's motion to vacate the Speaker's position due to his support for the spending package marks a significant moment of intra-party conflict. This bold move illustrates the depth of the divide over the bill.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries remains optimistic about the bill's prospects, highlighting the strong Democratic support that propelled its passage through the House. With 185 Democrats and 101 Republicans voting in favor, the bill's success reflects a bipartisan effort in times of crisis.

Senate's Response and GOP Leadership's Defense

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has voiced the Democratic majority's support for the bill, labeling it a piece of 'good news' for its increased funding for various social programs. However, Senate Republicans, including Sen. Mike Lee and Sen. Rick Scott, have lambasted the package for its perceived extravagance and impact on the national debt.

Critics, especially among conservative House Republicans, lament the rushed nature of the vote and the bypassing of the customary 72-hour review period. This haste has fueled frustration and underscored concerns over transparency and fiscal responsibility.

The bill, criticized for perpetuating and even boosting "Pelosi-Schumer policies and spending levels" by approximately $60 billion, has nevertheless been defended by GOP leadership.

They highlight conservative wins within the package, such as a three percent hike in defense spending and the preservation of the Hyde amendment, alongside contentious provisions like $200 million for a new FBI headquarters and $300 million for the Ukrainian Assistance Initiative.

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About Ashton Snyder

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