It was two weeks of mostly listening for Mike Johnson (R-La.) at the top of the Republican leadership rung. And he rarely shared his opinion. At the first meeting he had with a faction of the 5 ideological groups within the conference, Johnson stayed quiet as the Freedom Caucus argued.
The issues being passionately discussed included a curb in spending, an emphasis on national security in future economic fights, and a temporary double deadline that would fund the federal government through 2024. Within days moderate GOP leaders were imploring Mike Johnson to stay away from forcing swing-district legislators to take hard votes or run into an awkward defeat when they disagreed on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Mike Johnson also listened to appropriators, who assigned the way federal funds would be spent each year. They implored him to avert a shutdown of the federal government by not agreeing to the two-tiered offer and instead going for a clear extension of the present levels of funding.
Mike Johnson’s Proposal Could End Up On The President’s Desk
Mike Johnson finally opened up on Saturday when he decided to go ahead with a short-term funding proposal. This is expected to douse the ire of the far right even as it strives not to distance the centrists. This led to a dual-tiered schedule of funding that didn’t factor in additional demands from the Republican factions. These include funding for the war efforts of Ukraine and Israel, a security proposal along the southern border, and steep cuts in the budget.
Mike Johnson has sought not to limit his appeasement to just any one faction. But the proposal seems instead to have perplexed the middle, angered the far right, and has been derided by the ruling Democrats. But then it could end up attracting sufficient support from the Democrats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and could finally end up on President Biden’s desk this week.