House Passes Rule In Second Attempt, Johnson Ducks GOP Revolt — For Now

The GOP-led House approved a rule on Thursday that failed to pass less than 24 hours earlier amid a revolt against Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) by small group of Republicans over spending and border security that appears to have abated for the moment.

A resolution to allow consideration of a trio of unrelated measures secured a simple majority largely along party lines with only one Republican, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), voting against it and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) voting “present.” Six other GOP members did not vote.

In a post to X, Luna blasted the roughly $1.6 trillion “topline” spending deal Johnson struck with Democrat leaders in Congress for fiscal 2024 appropriations legislation. “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 said.

Luna also demanded the passage of legislation that solely focuses on border security, posting to X, “Congress. Needs. A. Stand. Alone. Border. Bill.” At the moment, bipartisan Senate negotiators are hashing out deal that ties border reforms to aid for U.S. allies such as Ukraine.

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.

Time is of the essence as lawmakers race to come up with a dozen appropriations bills with — at least for now — the $1.6 trillion topline figure in mind. A government shutdown looms as a two-step continuing resolution (CR) passed in November funds certain federal agencies through January 19 while others would get money through February 2. The Democrat-led Senate has begun the process of passing another stop-gap measure, just in case.

The House GOP uprising against leadership seen on Wednesday was reminiscent of the revolt a small group of Republicans waged against then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last year, which ended in him losing the gavel.

Roy has said he won’t rule out using the “motion to vacate” mechanism against Johnson — the same one that led to the no-confidence vote resulting in McCarthy’s ouster — as he voiced objections to the topline spending deal and pushed for border security reforms in line with a sweeping bill the House passed last year that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) refuses to consider.

Johnson, who is working with a razor-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.

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