Speaker Johnson stands behind spending deal, despite criticism

 January 13, 2024

Despite the intense criticism that he has received from some of his Republican colleagues, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is standing behind the spending deal that he has agreed to. 

Johnson, according to The Hill, expressed his intention to stick with the deal in a press statement that he made on Friday.

"Our topline agreement remains"

Johnson's statement to the press was brief, only enough to indicate that he is standing behind the deal.

"After weeks of hard-fought negotiations, we achieved a strong top-line agreement that allows our appropriations committee and all those who work on this to complete the appropriations process. It’s an important part of keeping the government running," Johnson said.

He added, "Our topline agreement remains. We are getting our next steps together, and we are working toward a robust appropriations process. So stay tuned for all that."

Johnson did not take any questions, after delivering his statement.

The Republican backlash

This statement that Johnson made on Friday came after he faced serious criticism from some of his fellow House Republicans, especially from House Freedom Caucus members.

Fox News reports, "The conservative House Freedom Caucus led the revolt against Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s agreement on Sunday evening, recirculating a late December memo that said any funding topline higher than $1.59 trillion would be 'totally unacceptable.'"

The outlet goes on to quote the House Freedom Cause as saying that the Johnson-Schumer deal is "even worse than we thought."

"Don’t believe the spin. Once you break through typical Washington math, the true total programmatic spending level is $1.658 trillion — not $1.59 trillion," the group claimed.

Accordingly, the group referred to the deal as a "total failure."

Johnson's problem

Many would agree with the notion that government spending, these days, is a big problem. But, the question is what to do about it. It has to be remembered that the Democrats control the White House and the U.S. Senate, and, currently, the Republicans only have a two-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Based on his statement, it appears that Johnson is going to stick with the deal that he reached with Schumer. Some House Republicans, however, believe that Johnson is still considering other options. Johnson's final decision is expected in the near future.

Federal funding is currently set to expire, at least for some governmental agencies, on Jan. 19, 2024, which is why Congress is trying to reach an agreement.

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