This Spending Fight Will End the Way they Always Do, More Money for Everything

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via Mike Shedlock

House Speaker Mike Johnson has signaled more money for Ukraine, more money for Israel, and more money for defense spending. He may salvage something for the border.

Optimism for a Deal Surges

I never understand the government shutdown fears. There is always a deal or Republican capitulation.

The Wall Street Journal comments Shutdown Fears Fade After White House Meeting

House Speaker Mike Johnson said he was “very optimistic” that Congress would reach an agreement to avert a government shutdown while continuing to pursue talks on Ukraine and pressure the administration on border policy, following a White House meeting Tuesday with other congressional leaders and President Biden.

With funding running out for some agencies on Saturday, the spotlight is once again on Johnson, who is facing some of the biggest decisions of his political career. The Louisiana Republican needs to map out a path on spending while managing a rowdy House GOP conference that has taken a hard line on deficits and is increasingly skeptical of foreign aid, even as the Democratic-controlled Senate has been ready for months to move forward.

The polarized Congress has until Saturday at 12:01 a.m. to fund the departments of Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Agriculture, Energy and several other agencies that have been operating on temporary extensions since Sept. 30. The funding for the rest of the federal government expires after March 8.

Johnson ripped Schumer for “petty politics” on Sunday. The House, he said, “has worked nonstop, and is continuing to work in good faith, to reach agreement with the Senate on compromise government funding bills in advance of the deadlines.” Asked Tuesday if he thought there would be a shutdown, Johnson responded: “No. We will work to prevent that.”

People familiar with the negotiations between Johnson and Democrats said that a key sticking point is how much money to appropriate for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC. Democrats are asking for $7.03 billion, more than the $6.3 billion previously sought by the Senate and requested in Biden’s budget. But the GOP-led House passed a measure including $6 billion for the program, which provides food and health assistance.

The speaker told lawmakers not to expect a home run or grand slams in the spending bills, but instead singles or doubles, according to people on the call. Johnson said that was the reality of divided government, and that some Republicans’ willingness to block routine procedural votes—essentially paralyzing the floor—had hurt Republicans’ leverage in talks with Democrats.

Singles, Doubles, or Running in Reverse?

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I would be happy with singles or doubles. And we easily could have had a single if Republicans did not dump foolishly dump Kevin McCarthy.

I understand dislike of McCarthy, but the Mike Johnson in his fake superman outfit has been worse.

And every delay further adds to Democrat demands. Today we learn an increased demand for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

The only stunning thing is how little extra Democrats want. Then again, we have not see the ink dry yet.

Mike Johnson Is the New (But Not Improved) Kevin McCarthy

Flashback January 18, 2024: Mike Johnson Is the New (But Not Improved) Kevin McCarthy

The House just passed Mike Johnson’s bipartisan continuing resolution punt. Dear Republicans, please wave the white flag and surrender before doing more damage, because more damage is on the table just today.

The sad reality is that attempting to force spending issues Republicans could not possibly control caused delays. And with every delay, additional issues arose and more spending came into the picture.

HGOP Deal on Child Tax Credits

Amazingly, the GOP House Ways and Means Committee agreed to a ridiculous tradeoff with the Democrats that will cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

For discussion, please see How Much Will That GOP Deal on Child Tax Credits Really Cost?

MishTalk September 29, 2023McCarthy’s House Bill Goes Down in Embarrassing 198-232 Vote

21 GOP lawmakers joined all the Democrats in voting against McCarthy’s bill to avoid a government shutdown.

The McCarthy proposal would have extended government funding through Oct. 31, but at a $1.471 trillion annual rate, down from $1.6 trillion in fiscal 2023. The bill also included strict new border-security measures and the creation of a fiscal commission charged with coming up with ways to balance the budget and improve the country’s fiscal outlook.

Stuck In Reverse

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The McCarthy proposal would have extended government funding through Oct. 31, but at a $1.471 trillion annual rate, down from $1.6 trillion in fiscal 2023. And it included funds for the border.

We are now up to $1.6++ trillion or so under Speaker Mike Johnson.

Since then, Republicans agreed to expand child tax credits. And now it appears they will expand Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

In addition, there will be an as of yet undisclosed sum for Ukraine and Israel. And what else is tucked in this compromise white-flag surrender bill that we do not yet know about?

Dear Republicans, please face the facts: Mike Johnson is stuck in reverse. He has been a total fiscal disaster.

That was my prediction in September of 2023, for which I took a lot of flack. I would rather have been wrong.


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