Color me shocked. On Tuesday night, the House of Representatives passed Speaker Mike Johnson’s continuing resolution. It passed 336-95, and is expected to pass the Senate.
I’ve been predicting for some time now that Democrats actually want a shutdown, and frankly, I expected this process to be drawn out until the final hours before the deadline to fund the government ended on November 17.
Democrats previously said that they couldn’t support Speaker Johnson’s “laddered” continuing resolution, but this week Democrat leaders started to signal support for it.
What changed? Perhaps the most significant thing is that five Republicans had come out against Johnson’s stopgap funding bill. Johnson could only afford four Republican defections. That means that the onus was on Democrats to save it and avert a shutdown, which turned out to very much be true, as 93 Republicans voted against it. Even the White House called it too extreme, but there’s little reason to believe that Biden wouldn’t sign it now.
The question I have is, why did Democrats play ball so easily this time? Especially when they previously called it too extreme? Their support of this CR is most certainly a ruse.
Do you remember how this all played out last time? Yes, Democrats ultimately backed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s stopgap funding bill, despite opposing the lack of funding for Ukraine. Then they went through every trick in the book to delay its passage. As the deadline for funding the government got closer, Democrats claimed it was necessary to review the stopgap resolution in order to postpone a vote. Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries also exploited a rule enabling party leaders to speak indefinitely to delay it. Then there was the notorious fire alarm incident, in which Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulled a fire alarm during the vote in yet another attempt to postpone it. And then they voted for it.
It sure looked like we were headed for a replay of what happened with McCarthy’s continuing resolution, which ultimately resulted in him being ousted from the speakership. Did Democrats change their strategy this time around, thinking that Johnson will get booted just like McCarthy, and send the GOP into disarray? I don’t know for sure. I just know I don’t trust the Democrats one bit. I’ve long suspected that they actually want a shutdown and were hoping for Mike Johnson to suffer a political defeat.
Whatever they’re up to, they’re being sneaky about it.