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GOP leaders celebrate clearing major government funding hurdle just a day after Johnson was elected speaker

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House Speaker Mike Johnson called the spending bill a ‘first step in getting our appropriations done’

House Republican leaders are touting a major victory in passing another of their 12 spending bills on Thursday, just a day after Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., was sworn in to lead the chamber.

“This is the first step in getting our appropriations done,” Johnson told Fox News Digital in a statement on Thursday evening. 

“I promised we were going to get back to work for the American people and today we proved it.”

The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Energy and other related matters, passed with almost no Republican opposition.

GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said the bill “eliminates billions in wasteful funding for unrelated Green New Deal policies” and “prioritizes funding to maintain strong national security.”

Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said on X, “House Republicans just passed our FY24 Energy and Water appropriations bill which prioritizes fiscal responsibility while unleashing American energy. Meanwhile, how many appropriations bills has the Schumer Senate passed? Hint: The answer is still zero.”

The bill cuts federal spending in that sector by roughly $857 billion from this year’s funding levels. It is the fifth appropriations bill House Republicans have passed and the first under Johnson’s tenure. 

Republican lawmakers appear to be forging ahead with a new sense of unity and optimism after coming together to unanimously elect Johnson earlier this week. 

The House had been deadlocked for nearly a month following the ouster of ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., by a majority vote of eight Republicans and all House Democrats.

Federal spending has been a major contention point for House Republicans thus far, with members on different sides of the ideological spectrum clashing at times over funding levels and various amendments.

Government funding was meant to run out on Oct. 1, but McCarthy shepherded a stopgap extension known as a continuing resolution through the House at the 11th hour, narrowly avoiding a shutdown. It gave lawmakers until Nov. 17 to cobble together 12 individual spending bills.

Johnson acknowledged the deadline was “coming quickly” in a Thursday evening interview on “Hannity.” 

“We’re speeding it up as quickly as possible. That was my commitment to my colleagues when they named me speaker of the House,” Johnson said. “We passed one of the appropriations bills just a couple of hours ago…that was a big box that we had to check and we did that.”

The speaker acknowledged that another continuing resolution may be needed to buy more time to pass the remaining seven appropriations bills but signaled that it would need to have “certain conditions,” rather than a clean extension of the previous Democrat-held Congress’ funding priorities. 

Just before the speaker vote on Wednesday, Johnson laid out a plan to colleagues with deadlines for getting the remaining funding bills to the floor.

Even if passed before the deadline, however, the House would still need to find middle ground with the Democrat-controlled Senate — which is marking up its appropriations bills to a top line that is roughly $120 billion higher than the House GOP’s.

Read the original publication HERE.

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