House Democrats help Johnson pass GOP bill to avoid government shutdown

November 16, 2023

In a bipartisan vote, the House has passed Speaker Mike Johnson‘s plan to avert a government shutdown just days ahead of a Friday, November 17, deadline, reports ABC News.

The final vote was 336-95 with more Democrats voting for the stopgap funding bill than did Republicans —209 to 127, respectively. More than 90 Republicans voted against it. The bill needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

The measure now goes on to the Senate for approval. Senate leaders have indicated they will support it and promised quick action.

Leaving the House chamber following the vote, Johnson said on camera “we’re pleased, we’re pleased with the outcome … We just gotta get the job done—we will do it day by day,” Johnson told ABC News’ Jay O’Brien.

In his first test as the newly-appointed speaker, Johnson pitched a two-step government plan that he described as a “laddered CR”—or continuing resolution—that would keep the government funded at 2023 levels. The bill extends government funding until January 19 for the Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Energy departments, as well as for military construction. The rest of the government is funded until February 2.

The bill does not include any supplemental aid for Israel or Ukraine.

Johnson argued that the plan would allow for the House to pass the rest of the individual spending bills and avoid a massive spending bill near Christmas.

Despite having to rely on Democratic support to overcome GOP hard-liners’ opposition, Johnson spun the bill’s passage as a Republican victory, saying it “puts House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative policy victories.”

“We also are better positioned in the upcoming supplemental debate to demand Border Security, ensure oversight of Ukraine aid, and support our cherished ally, Israel,” Johnson said in a statement after the vote.

The irony is that Johnson pushed forward with the same type of stopgap plan that led to Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker.

“Speaker Johnson came in kind of like the backup quarterback, you can’t blame him for the score of the game when he enters the game,” Representative Dan Meuser, Republican of Pennsylvania said.

Other Republicans acknowledge the realities of a divided government and a deeply divided party. “In the Republican conference, you couldn’t get 217 of us to agree that today’s Tuesday,” Representative Troy Nehls (R-Texas) said. “Mike is having to reach out to the Democrats, because you can’t get the Republicans to agree on anything,” he added.

Research contact: @abcnews