Poor Congress Had To Work Sixteen Hours This Week

The House started its legislative week Wednesday at 2 PM and were set to wrap it up by mid-afternoon Thursday before leaving for the week. Maybe they need more time to recover from their two-week Presidents Day recess. Or perhaps they anticipated the very difficult job of keeping the government’s doors open for another week would so exhaust everyone that they need a long weekend.

That’s the primary business for Thursday, which is passing yet another stop-gap bill to avoid a partial government shutdown Friday night, when they vote on the continuing resolution that will keep the government’s doors open for another week. Like all the CRs that have been passed since September, Democrats will probably make up the majority of votes to pass it. It should pass easily, but you never know with a leader as weak as Speaker Mike Johnson and a Freedom Caucus bent on making his life miserable.

That continued into a morning meeting of the GOP conference, when Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio went in intent on convincing Johnson to scrap the funding agreement Johnson made with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden. They apparently raised a little performative hell with Johnson, but seem resigned to letting it happen.

“It seems right now what we’re doing is—we’re doing what the Democrats want to do so that it will pass the Senate and be signed by the White House, and that’s not a win for the American people,” Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, the Freedom Caucus chair, told reporters. “We need a larger majority,” said GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky. “It’s almost impossible right now with a two-seat majority.”

They’ll have a chance next week to cause more headaches for Johnson, because this CR is set to expire March 8. Under the deal struck by Biden, Schumer, and Johnson, six of the 12 government funding bills would be combined to go forward next week. The other six, which include some of the most contentious policy fights House Republicans are pushing, would have to be completed by March 22. Just in time for Congress to start its two-week Easter break.

Schumer said on the floor Thursday, “Once the House acts, I hope the Senate can pass the short-term CR as soon as tonight, but that will require all of us working together.” And in the Senate, with its own set of MAGA chaos agents and where just one senator can cause all sorts of mischief, that’s not guaranteed. It will pass and there won’t be shutdown. At least not this week.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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