Johnson Scrambles to Avoid Another Partial Shutdown

( – Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has managed to arrange a deal that could prevent a government shutdown this month. The agreement was announced on Sunday, January 7th, and would establish limits on funding any domestic programs or military expenditures for this fiscal year. The deal has the potential to avoid a partial shutdown which would occur on January 19th otherwise.

The agreement which Johnson negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), solidifies defense funding for this fiscal year at no more than $886 billion. Non-defense spending is limited to $773 billion. Hardline conservatives in Congress believe the numbers are still far too high. They could hold up further funding approvals.

The values would see non-defense programs maintain their previous funding levels while the defense budget increases 3% compared to the prior fiscal year. Schumer reportedly affirmed the deal as a positive development for “Democrats and the country.” The distinction is worthy of note. Biden praised the development as positive, citing his desire to avoid a “needless” government shutdown.

Fiscal conservatives are not happy, however. Johnson has to maintain a delicate balance, otherwise he could end up suffering the same fate as ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

In celebrating the deal, Johnson said he negotiated savings of roughly $30 billion versus what the Senate was asking for. He also noted that while some parties weren’t happy, and that there is plenty of room for more budget cuts, this was a win for Republicans overall that demonstrated their ability to effectively govern.

It’s now up to members of Congress to hash out specific funding proposals for various departments within the government like Veterans Affairs, and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation – all of their funding runs out on the 19th. The possibility of a partial shutdown is still quite legitimate until all these funding agreements are hashed out.

Hardline conservatives are also fed up with Biden’s border policies and will be beginning impeachment proceedings against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas over the issue.

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