As Government Shutdown Looms, Speaker Johnson Has ‘Hit the Ground Running’: Congressman
With government funding set to expire on November 17, the clock is ticking for Republicans to pass spending bills before the next government shutdown. But newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) is already hard at work. Within 30 hours of being named speaker, Johnson managed to pass spending bill H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act. This is just the fifth of 12 appropriations bills Republicans seek to pass to “better the American people” and “put pressure” on President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats.
“This is the first step in getting our appropriations done,” Johnson said. “I promised we were going to get back to work for the American people and … we proved it.” However, Johnson will need to keep up the pace in order to conquer the hefty schedule.
“Mike has really hit the ground running,” Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), member of the House Appropriations Committee, shared on “Washington Watch with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.” He continued, “Republicans are working hard to honor the promise that we made to the American public, … [and] we have a very aggressive timetable.” He noted that members in the Senate have “yet to pass a single spending bill out of their entire body.” Perkins added, “[M]aybe the media just missed that aspect, because I haven’t seen them reporting on the fact that the Senate has done nothing.”
Guest emphasized how despite the debt ceiling negotiations and being without a speaker for three weeks, “[W]e’ve been able to pass almost half of the appropriation bills in the House.” But now with a speaker again, the ball only continues to roll.
Quena Gonzalez, senior director of Government Affairs at FRC, commented to The Washington Stand that part of the reason Johnson won the speakership is because he put “forward a viable plan to pass the remaining appropriations bills and avoid a government shutdown. [And] it includes an aggressive schedule for passing the remaining seven bills.”
He continued, “Mike Johnson is a man of courage, conviction, faith, and humility. He needs God’s help as he undertakes a monumental task of uniting the House Republican conference,” which he added has been divided recently over “assembling a staff team, raising millions of dollars to help elect other pro-life Republicans, and seeking to advance pro-life, pro-family policy in line with the Republican Party platform.”
For Gonzalez, “Christians can rejoice that a man of integrity has been elected Speaker of the House.” He encouraged believers to pray “as he negotiates with President Biden and the Democrat-run Senate, both of which have shown a commitment to advancing a radical anti-life, anti-family agenda.”
He shared how “the next 21 days … are critical.” He added, “To date, the House has put forward some of the most conservative, family-friendly appropriations bills ever.” As Gonzalez put it, “Johnson will need divine wisdom to shepherd some of the remaining bills through despite objections even from a small minority within his own party to pro-life provisions and advancing them in negotiations with the Senate and White House.”
He concluded, “Speaker Johnson is a man of prayer, and he needs ours.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.