A day after House Republicans rallied around new Speaker Mike Johnson, lawmakers turned their attention to spending bills needed to avert a government shutdown and respond to crises overseas.
Congress has less than a month until federal agencies are defunded, as Democratic President Joe Biden seeks an additional $106 billion to help Israel and Ukraine, and address the immigration crisis in southern border of the US.
Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said after being elected president:
“You’re going to see an active calendar in the coming days and weeks. “You’re going to see Congress working harder than ever.”
The House, on Wednesday, approved a resolution to provide solidarity with Israel and guarantee it aid against the Hamas group. However, it is not yet clear when an aid package for Israel will be voted on, while the issue of new support for Ukraine has yet to appear on the agenda.
Mike Johnson told the press:
“We have conditions on this, so we are working on it. “We want accountability and we want clear goals from the White House.”
According to analysts like Casey Burgas of George Washington University, even with an elected president, the differences between the Republicans will remain.
“There’s been a lot of internal turmoil within the Republican caucus over the last decade. And it’s slowly building up again and becoming more visible in more public ways.”
House Republicans are working to pass 12 separate bills to keep the government funded, rather than presenting a single proposal.
Faced with a Democratic-majority Senate and a House held by Republicans by a handful of votes, the job of avoiding a government shutdown will require more negotiations.
The fact that the House will recess this Friday and not return until the end of next week won’t help the race against time to avoid a government shutdown. Lawmakers can still work and negotiate without the House in session, but there is currently no guarantee that an agreement will be reached on federal spending.