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Florida Republicans Divide as Mike Johnson Relies on Democrats to Get Continuing Resolution Through House

This week, new U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., had to rely on the support of Democrats to pass a continuing resolution that funds the federal government until February.

The continuing resolution passed on a 336-95 vote as 209 Democrats and 127 Republicans backed it while 93 Republicans and 2 Democrats opposed it.

Republicans from the Sunshine State divided over the continued resolution as U.S. Reps. Gus Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Carlos Gimenez, Laurel Lee, John Rutherford and Maria Elvira Salazar backed it while U.S. Reps. Aaron Bean, Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Brian Mast, Cory Mills, Bill Posey, Greg Steube, Michael Waltz and Dan Webster voted against it. Every Democrat in the Florida delegation voted for the continuing resolution.

“In passing Speaker Johnson’s two-step stopgap funding bill, Congress averts a reckless government shutdown and can finish the job we started, passing appropriations bills one at a time. In the short-term, this bill funds Agriculture, Energy and Water, Military Construction and VA, and Transportation and HUD appropriations bills through January 19th and the remaining eight bills through February 2nd. This two-step place holder keeps the government open so that House Republicans are in the best position possible to negotiate with the Senate and fight for fiscal responsibility in Washington as we advance conservative policies that will grow our economy, tackle the crisis at our southern border, deliver peace through strength, and improve the lives of everyday Americans,” said Rutherford.

“I am sick and tired of our government not working as it should. Florida District 2 and our nation deserve better,” said Dunn. “It is an age-old tradition for Congress to kick the can until a few days before Christmas to put extra pressure on members to vote for massive omnibus spending bills. That’s why I opposed last year’s last-minute, massive $1.85 trillion spending bill, and it’s why I’m supporting Speaker Johnson’s strategy to prevent that from happening again.

“To be clear, I do not like continuing resolutions! This is not a viable long-term solution,” Dunn insisted. “But Speaker Johnson was sworn in two weeks ago and deserves sufficient time to fight for conservative victories. In addition to allowing Speaker Johnson more time to succeed, this bill also ensures that our military personnel won’t miss a paycheck during the holiday season and, separately, avoids a lapse in funding for agricultural programs critical to Florida’s Second Congressional District.

“The fact of the matter is that shutting down the government is far more costly than passing this Continuing Resolution. I care about the families in my district who need certainty around the holidays. I care about a strong military during times of international instability,” Dunn said in conclusion. “I remain committed to lowering spending levels once this funding deadline is up in early 2024, securing our southern border, and continuing the fight for lower appropriations under Speaker Johnson’s leadership.”

Bean weighed in on why he opposed the resolution.

“America is on a collision course, and it is irresponsible to avoid making the tough decisions necessary to return our nation to a path of economic prosperity. Yet, that’s exactly what Congress continues to do,” he said. “This short-term spending bill does nothing to address our most immediate national security threat—our broken, porous southern border and the fentanyl pouring across it, killing 300 Americans every day. Instead, it kicks the can down the road and continues to put our nation on the path of fiscal ruin.

“As our debt surpasses a staggering $33 trillion, it has never been more apparent that our nation cannot sustain Biden-Pelosi spending levels for one more day, let alone 77 days. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to do something about our unsustainable debt and leave them a nation that is financially stable. We cannot ask the next generation to pay for the greed of today,” Bean added.

Democrats from the Sunshine State said they helped avert a shutdown while the GOP remained divided.

“Once again, at the eleventh hour, Democrats are bailing Republicans out because, after all the political games and stunts Republicans pulled, they realized you need both parties to govern. I voted yes on this continued resolution because we need to keep the government open. Today marks a victory for the American people, avoiding a catastrophic shutdown and sidestepping some of the harsh consequences of Republican proposals aimed at criminalizing abortion, cutting social security and Medicare, and dismantling public education,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.

“Governing is no simple task, but shirking that responsibility by prioritizing politics over people is not the solution. Republicans have wasted weeks on political theatrics, from failing to choose a Speaker to pushing forward heartless appropriations bills. But today, Democrats led the effort to put people over politics, and the American people won,” Wilson continued.

“House Democrats voted to save military paychecks, critical services like Meals on Wheels, small business loans, and critical functions of the U.S. government today as MAGA Republicans took the country to the brink of another government shutdown right before Thanksgiving. Instead of working across the aisle, House Republicans for months have used defaults and shutdowns to force extreme MAGA Republican policies – like a national abortion ban – on the American people,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla.“The best pathway to avoid a government shutdown is a bipartisan path, and today, House Democrats once again stood by our word. The Continuing Resolution (CR) we passed today will avoid significant harm to families, our military, our economy and our national security while preserving historic investments and blocking extreme MAGA Republican policy riders.

“House Democrats continue to stand ready to work with House Republicans to pass all government funding bills that reflect the framework that was signed into law in June with the passage of the Bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act. I encourage my Republican colleagues to work in good faith with Democrats and end their partisan and costly shenanigans,” Castor added.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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