House Freedom Caucus Members Weigh Motion to Vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson Over Spending Bill

Published January 10, 2024

Members of the House Freedom Caucus are considering launching a bid to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) following dissatisfaction with the recent bipartisan spending deal that has raised eyebrows due to concerns due to concerns of exacerbating the national debt and lack of border security measures.

Last September, the House of Representatives passed a last-minute bill to keep the government funded for an additional 45 days, narrowly averting a government shutdown that would have commenced at 12:01 a.m. The bill, was spearheaded by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

With a 335-91 vote, the House approved a 45-day temporary funding measure that excludes border security and $6 billion funding for Ukraine.

The bill includes provisions for disaster relief funds that likely swayed some Democrats to vote in favor. 90 GOP NOs and 1 Dem NO.

In November, Speaker Johnson devised a “two-part” continuing resolution to prevent a shutdown post-November 17, which was due to the government funding ending.


This resolution split the extension of appropriations bills into two deadlines: it extends the Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy and Water appropriations bills until January 19, while the remaining bills would be extended until February 2. The appropriation bill notably omitted aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as an extension of FISA 702 authorities. However, it did extend the expired Farm Bill provisions through September 2024.

As the new year began, and with deadlines looming, Johnson struck a long-term spending deal, announcing a $1.590 trillion budget for fiscal 2024, which he stated included significant cuts to Democrat spending priorities.

Read Johnson’s letter to his colleagues:

After many weeks of dialogue and debate, we have secured hard-fought concessions to unlock the FY 24 topline numbers and allow the Appropriations Committee to finally begin negotiating and completing the twelve annual appropriations bills.

The topline constitutes $1.590 trillion for FY24 — the statutory levels of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. That includes $886 billion for defense and $704 billion for nondefense.

As has been widely reported, a list of extra-statutory adjustments was agreed upon by negotiators last summer. The agreement today achieves key modifications to the June framework that will secure more than $16 billion in additional spending cuts to offset the discretionary spending levels.

As you know, the Senate marked up their appropriations bills $14 billion above the FRA levels and the adjustments. The agreement reached today thus allows for none of that funding, and combined with the additional savings described above, results in an overall $30 billion total reduction from the Senate’s spending plans.

While the levels of emergency spending from FY23 will be maintained, no additional emergency funding, or additional no-outlay changes in mandatory programs (CHIMPS), will be included, thus eliminating two of the worst accounting gimmicks included in the FRA framework. Unlike other adjustments, which are by nature limited in time or amount, the adjustments described above threatened to become permanent fixtures of the funding baseline as in previous budget agreements. Removing them now could save taxpayers more than $200 billion over the next 10 years.

In summary, the concessions we achieved will include an additional $10 billion in cuts to the IRS mandatory funding (for a total of $20 billion), which was a key part of the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act.” In addition, we will cut $6.1 billion from the Biden’s Administration’s continued COVID-era slush funds, which we achieved despite fierce opposition from the White House. The result is real savings to American taxpayers and real reductions in the federal bureaucracy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has praised Johnson on this deal, saying, “He’s a very decent, respectful guy, unlike some, who want to be macho and bullying and threatening and all that. He’s not like that.”



RELATED: Republicans Talk of Ousting Speaker Mike Johnson Over Spending Deal Furor

Published January 9, 2024

Some Republicans in the House of Representatives have discussed vacating House Speaker Mike Johnson over the spending agreement he made with Democrats over the weekend.

Johnson could face the same fate as his predecessor after some conservative members of Congress were outraged over the speaker’s budget deal with Democratic leadership, struck in an attempt to avoid a partial government shutdown as the January 19 funding deadline nears.

The Louisiana Republican was appointed 56th speaker of the House of Representatives in October 2023 after Kevin McCarthy was vacated from the position the same month, also after negotiating with Democrats to try to avoid a government stoppage.

On Sunday, Johnson, Democrats Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries announced a tentative agreement that would establish an overall spending level of nearly $1.66 trillion in 2024, similar to the bipartisan deal struck last year between President Joe Biden and McCarthy, despite cuts noted by Johnson in a letter to Congress.

The speaker said the agreement slashed $16 billion in spending, according to his letter to colleagues, which, he said, “represents the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade.”

Newsweek reached out via email on Tuesday night to Johnson’s office for comment.

Johnson’s deal was met with swift backlash from some of his GOP colleagues who have been calling for much steeper budget cuts, with roughly a dozen House Republicans vocally condemning the spending deal. The conservative House Freedom Caucus blasted the agreement as a “total failure.”

Representative Chip Roy, a Texas Republican and policy chair of the Freedom Caucus, has been a vocal critic of the tentative budget agreement. Appearing on BlazeTV’s The Steve Deace Show on Tuesday, Roy said he’d consider filing a motion to vacate Johnson over the deal.

“I’m leaving it on the table,” Roy said. “I’m not going to say I’m going to go file it tomorrow night. I’m not saying I’m not going to file it tomorrow. I think the speaker needs to know that we’re angry about it.”

When asked about the possibility of removing Johnson from office, Representative Tim Burchett, a Tennessee Republican, told reporters on Tuesday that “a lot of people were talking about it.”



RELATED: Republicans Talk of Ousting Speaker Mike Johnson Over Spending Deal Furor

Published January 7, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and congressional leaders have struck a spending framework deal that may avert a government shutdown; however, it may frustrate conservatives who want more drastic cuts.

The bipartisan framework would set defense funding at $866 billion and non-defense spending at $704 billion for the current fiscal year, which is in line with the spending levels set with the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), the debt limit deal struck by President Joe Biden and former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The deal arose just about two weeks before funding for many government agencies was set to expire. The first tranche of agency funding was set to expire, while the remainder would end on February 2.

In his letter to House lawmakers, Johnson said that the “final spending levels will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like.”

The Speaker said that the deal would remove in overall “$30 billion total reduction” from the Senate’s spending plans. He explained that there would be $10 billion in cuts to the IRS mandatory funding, and $6.1 billion from the “Biden administration’s continued COVID-era slush funds.”

“While these final spending levels will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like, this deal does provide us a path to: 1) move the process forward; 2) reprioritize funding within the topline towards conservative objectives, instead of last year’s Schumer-Pelosi omnibus; and 3) fight for the important policy riders included in our House FY24 bills,” Johnson continued.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said in a joint statement that the framework would continue protecting “key domestic priorities like veterans benefits, health care and nutrition assistance from the draconian cuts sought by right-wing extremists.”





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