‘Border Security’ Is the New Tool to Block Regular Business
Plus: Ron DeSantis looks back with regret.
A partial government shutdown was slated to begin this Friday at midnight until Congress—primarily the House of Representatives—got its act together. As part of the “laddered” continuing resolution passed in November, federal funding was extended at the levels of fiscal year 2023 but split into two tranches covering two different areas of government. Each funding stream was then given its own expiration date: The first was this weekend; the next fell on Friday, February 2. Those dates have now been pushed back to March 1 and March 8 after both the Senate and House today passed another stopgap measure to keep everything as it is.
The next step will be the passage of the budget deal that House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed upon and announced early last week, which would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year to the tune of $1.66 trillion (at least everyone hopes). The Republican wins in the deal include clawing back some Internal Revenue Service enforcement money and a big chunk of unspent COVID funds (about $6 billion). The Democrats’ wins include hanging on to most of the status quo and making sure the lights stay on. It could be worse.
The Senate passed the stopgap about an hour ago 77–18, followed by the House just now 314-108. Passing it on this schedule required a suspension of the rules and a big helping hand from the Democrats, which could lead to even more problems in the coming weeks. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have grown particularly fond of tanking their own party’s procedural votes to halt business as a form of retribution.