Why Republicans Reject Mike Johnson’s Plan to Avoid a Government ‘Shutdown’

Why Republicans Reject Mike Johnson’s Plan to Avoid a Government ‘Shutdown’

The issue of federal funding and the looming possibility of a government ‘shutdown’ has once again taken center stage in American politics. With the expiration of the current temporary funding set for Friday, tensions are high as lawmakers scramble to find a solution.

One proposal, put forth by Republican Representative Mike Johnson, has faced significant opposition from fellow Republicans. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind this rejection and explore the complexities of the ongoing struggle to pass a budget.

The Plan: A Different Approach to Temporary Funding

Johnson’s proposal, known as a ‘continuing resolution,’ aims to keep the government running smoothly beyond the current funding deadline. However, unlike previous resolutions, this plan takes a unique approach. It seeks to extend funding for selected federal agencies and programs until January 19th, while pushing the funding for others until February 2nd.

Notably, Johnson’s plan excludes funding requested by President Joe Biden for Israel, Ukraine, and the United States-Mexico border. This departure from the norm was an attempt to address concerns from conservative Republicans who wanted to avoid a massive spending bill right before the year-end holidays.

Republican Criticisms: The Fight for Budget Cuts

Despite Johnson’s intentions, his proposal quickly faced opposition from within his own party. Republican representatives such as Chip Roy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Warren Davidson publicly expressed their disagreement with the plan.

Roy, from Texas, criticized the proposal as “funding (Nancy) Pelosi’s spending levels and policies for 75 days, (in exchange for) future promises.” These lawmakers, members of the influential Freedom Caucus, objected to the absence of budget cuts they have long fought for.

“Financing (Nancy) Pelosi’s spending levels and policies for 75 days, (in exchange for) future promises.” – Chip Roy, Republican Representative from Texas

Battle for Approval: A Delicate Balancing Act

In order for Johnson’s bill to pass in the House of Representatives, he must first secure the approval of a rule that establishes parameters for debate on the House floor. However, given the tendency of the minority party to vote against such rules, Johnson can only afford to lose the support of four Republicans.

Should the rule fail to pass, an alternative approach known as ‘suspension of the rules’ would require a two-thirds majority for approval. This would necessitate significant Democratic support.

The Shadow of McCarthy: Recent History Repeating Itself

Johnson’s predecessor as House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy of California, was removed from his position last month after failing to pass a temporary spending bill with only Republican votes.

McCarthy ultimately relied on Democratic support to avert a government ‘shutdown,’ a move that led to his ousting by members of his own party. Johnson finds himself in a similar position, with the added challenge of appeasing the demands of the fiscally conservative faction within the Republican Party.

“The idea that we would be playing with a ‘shutdown’ at this point is just preposterous.” – President Joe Biden

Bipartisanship and Cooperation: The Desired Solution

Both the White House and Democratic lawmakers have emphasized the need for bipartisan collaboration to avoid a government ‘shutdown.’ Democratic Senator Chris Murphy expressed skepticism towards Johnson’s approach but acknowledged the importance of keeping the government open.

Despite reservations, he remained open to discussing alternatives. The White House echoed this sentiment, criticizing Johnson’s proposal as a recipe for further Republican chaos and ‘shutdowns.’ Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Republicans in the House were wasting precious time with a proposal that had drawn criticism from members of both parties.

“The only way to avoid a ‘shutdown’ is through bipartisan cooperation.” – Senator Chuck Schumer

Stakes: Potential Consequences of Inaction

If an agreement is not reached before November 17th, approximately 1.5 million federal employees would face unpaid furloughs, numerous federal facilities, including national parks, would close, and sectors like air transportation could experience disruptions.

While last-minute compromises are not uncommon in Washington, the pressure is mounting on Johnson, a relatively unknown legislator from Louisiana, to navigate the demands of the influential hardline Republican faction while seeking a resolution. The bill is expected to be presented for a vote on Tuesday, according to various media reports.

“The only way to avoid a ‘shutdown’ is through bipartisan cooperation.” – Senator Chuck Schumer


As the deadline for temporary funding approaches, the battle for federal funding intensifies. Mike Johnson’s proposal to keep the government running has faced significant opposition from fellow Republicans, highlighting the deep divisions within the party.

The ongoing struggle to pass a budget underscores the need for bipartisan cooperation. With the potential consequences of a government ‘shutdown’ looming, the pressure is on lawmakers to find a resolution that can bridge the gap between fiscal responsibility and the demands of essential federal programs.

Next days will determine whether a compromise can be reached to avert yet another government ‘shutdown’ and provide stability for the nation.