You can put lipstick on a pig, however…
If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck…
What’s in a reputation? That which we’d name a rose…
Don’t spit on cupcakes and name it frosting…
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., faces his first true check this week. The newly elected House speaker is providing one thing he’s characterised in current weeks as a “laddered CR.” Yeah, not lots of people in Washington knew what that was both.
Johnson engineered a plan to fund your complete authorities on a brief foundation by means of Jan. 19, which is when Congress is anticipated to cross one batch of spending payments to avert a shutdown. The remainders would have till Feb. 2.
The “laddered” idea stems from coping with one “rung” of payments by one date and the subsequent “rung” of payments in a while. Laddered. Get it?
WHEN IT COMES TO THE NEXT SHUTDOWN FIGHT IN CONGRESS, SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Call it what you’ll, however what Johnson proposed is a “CR” – quick for “Continuing Resolution.” An interim spending invoice which merely renews all funding at present ranges to keep away from a authorities shutdown early Saturday morning.
Ironically, that is precisely the identical legislative concept that acquired former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., canned earlier this fall. So, what provides?
It’s rebranding. Companies change their names on a regular basis. Firms wrap their merchandise up in shinier, newer packages. It doesn’t have an effect on the stuff inside. The time period “CR” grew to become toxified inside some quarters of the House Republican Conference. So, it’s a must to alter the advertising. Moreover, Johnson reiterates that he’s dedicated to advancing the 12 annual appropriations payments which fund the federal government one after the other as Republicans promised.
Except for a few issues. A CR remains to be a CR. There was by no means sufficient time from when Johnson clasped the gavel to advance all of the spending payments by means of the House and merge them with the Senate to keep away from a shutdown, so this was the one means out of this cul-de-sac for Johnson.
But furthermore, Johnson is working into the identical issues which dogged his predecessor. Republicans insist on passing their very own partisan spending payments individually, however they’ll’t.
Republicans needed to yank a Transportation/Housing spending invoice off the ground final week and did the identical with a Treasury/White House spending invoice on Thursday.
And for the file, the latter invoice met its demise after the House rejected an modification to cut back the pay of White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre to $1 a 12 months. That’s proper. $1.
What is that this? The Price is Right?
Jean-Pierre’s annual take-home pay is $188,000. Point being, Republicans burned essential time making amendments like these pertaining to Jean-Pierre to ensure that debate and a vote once they couldn’t even get the general laws to cross.
These appropriations payments are usually not precisely prepared for the Showcase Showdown.
THE SPEAKER’S LOBBY: THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO A POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
It’s removed from clear whether or not the House may even cross Johnson’s proposal. And, due to GOP skepticism, Johnson might must depend on Democrats to avert a authorities shutdown. Sound acquainted?
If Republicans give Johnson a cross and approve his “laddered” CR – particularly with Democratic help – we may have confirmed one thing vital concerning the Speaker’s debacle which consumed most of October and prompted McCarthy’s ouster: the movement to vacate the chair was by no means about spending payments or laws. It was a private vendetta in opposition to McCarthy.
But again to the duty at hand: authorities funding expires at 11:59 p.m. ET Friday. There just isn’t a lot turning radius to maneuver a invoice of any type by means of the House and thru the Senate. Either means, it doesn’t seem that Johnson faces a number of the identical opprobrium which was leveled at his predecessor, however Johnson doesn’t seem to have a Midas Touch but, both.
Lawmakers from either side lengthy instructed that Johnson would get pleasure from a “honeymoon” after lastly securing the gavel following a brutal three weeks incinerating one speaker and three speaker nominees.
“There’s a honeymoon period here. I’m not sure how long that lasts. Maybe 30 days,” opined Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., late final Thursday.
HOUSE ENDS WEEK BEHIND SCHEDULE WITH DAYS UNTIL POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
But minutes later, House Republican leaders pulled the Treasury/White House invoice from the ground as a result of it lacked the votes to cross.
“With what’s going on over on the floor today, I think that indicates that the honeymoon might be shorter than we thought. And every time the CR expires, the speaker’s putting his head in the lion’s mouth,” mentioned Massie.
Johnson might not have the ability to management the CR and he can also’t management privileged resolutions supplied by Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who filed a particular decision late final week to question Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Since the decision is “privileged,” it goes to the entrance of the legislative line. The House will probably think about Greene’s gambit on Tuesday.
It’s doable that the GOP-led House may impeach Mayorkas with no hearings, no depositions and no markup of a decision. This can be after Republicans brayed for months about “the regular order.” Greene mentioned it was too late for all of that.
“No more strongly worded letters. No more committee hearings. No more clips on the press. We have to do something about it,” she mentioned.
HOUSE MAY VOTE ON IMPEACHING MAYORKAS WITHOUT A MOTION TO TABLE: SOURCE
To be frank, many Republicans would moderately speak about impeaching Mayorkas as a substitute of really impeaching Mayorkas, particularly with no committee hearings or markups.
The House simply voted to desk (or kill) a decision to expel Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., as a result of the Ethics Committee hadn’t accomplished a report on his conduct. Moreover, Johnson mentioned on Fox he was involved about “due process,” however that’s forged to the wind with Greene’s measure to question Mayorkas.
A senior House management supply instructed Fox to anticipate a straight up or down vote on the Mayorkas decision. In different phrases, no movement to desk. Of course, Democrats may transfer to desk, but it surely’s unclear if they’d do this. Democrats don’t need Mayorkas impeached, however they might really feel it’s a victory both means.
One of two issues will occur: The House votes to question Mayorkas. If so, he turns into solely the second cupboard officer ever impeached. The final was Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876, however Democrats know that the Senate would by no means maintain a full trial on Mayorkas. It should begin the method. But the Senate can vote to dispense with the articles.
Democrats will view impeachment as a victory as a result of Republicans wasted their time – impeaching Mayorkas – as the federal government runs out of cash. They’ll additionally level to who authored the articles of impeachment: Greene.
The different state of affairs is that if the House fails to question Mayorkas. It’s removed from clear that the House has the votes to take action. Democrats will then level to Republicans chattering advert nauseam about impeaching Mayorkas after which stumbling.
All speak and no motion, and a few Republicans have had it.
“I’m not going to be thinking a lot about every privileged resolution that Majorie (Taylor) Greene files because we’ve got real work to do,” mentioned freshman Rep. John Duarte, R-Calif., who represents a battleground district and gained by 564 votes in 2022. “I’m not interested in these peripheral impeachments.”
Regardless, Democrats will level to election outcomes final week in Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio and recommend that Republicans are once more centered on the incorrect issues.
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Not everybody within the nation is aware of who Mike Johnson is but, but when the federal government shuts down on Saturday, you’ll be able to guess everybody will study who he’s.
So, you’ll be able to gown issues up by making use of lipstick, mascara and the rest on a CR… but it surely’s nonetheless a CR. That’s one thing Republicans abhor, however Johnson has no alternative when his aspect nonetheless can’t even cross their very own spending payments.
There is one faculty of thought on Capitol Hill that possibly a shutdown is inevitable. Congress narrowly averted a shutdown as soon as McCarthy put a straight, six-week CR on the ground on the final minute, so possibly McCarthy merely delayed a shutdown. McCarthy paid the worth for stopping that earlier within the fall.
Johnson gained’t pay an instantaneous value no matter how issues go. He may not get a laddered CR, however that is the problem Johnson faces for climbing the management ladder.