House GOP splits on $1.2T spending bill; Senate vote to avoid shutdown is pending

House GOP splits on $1.2T spending bill; Senate vote to avoid shutdown is pending

House GOP splits on $1.2T spending bill; Senate vote to avoid shutdown is pending

The only branch of government with a Republican majority passed a $1.2 trillion spending package Friday that one dissenter says sends the wrong message to the rest of the world – not to mention U.S. taxpayers.

It was the wee hours of Thursday morning when House members received H.R. 1102, forcing them to process more than 1,000 pages of proposed legislation in time for Friday's vote aimed at avoiding a partial government shutdown. The existing spending agreement expires at midnight Friday. The Senate is expected to pass the bill before the deadline.

H.R. 1102 includes funding for Education, Defense, Labor, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services as well as "general government and foreign operations" and the Internal Revenue Service, The Hill reported.

The bill agreed to by House Speaker Mike Johnson (right) passed 286-134. A total of 101 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, 112 against, showing a dangerously divided GOP that has just a one-seat House majority.

During the vote, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) filed a motion to vacate the chair. "I filed a motion to vacate because the House needs a Speaker who's able to win for Republicans and our constituents," she wrote on X.

The more conservative House members howled against the bill. "Unfortunately, 101 Republicans joined Democrats to pass this $1.2 trillion boondoggle that fully funds Biden's 'open borders' policies and includes earmarks for late-term abortions and transgender organizations. Insane," wrote the official X account of the House Freedom Caucus.

"The Senate is probably going to vote on this around midnight so that we'll avert any shutdown. We'll be funding the government at roughly $1.66 trillion, and we'll move on down the road," Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Oklahoma) said on Washington Watch Thursday afternoon, the day before passage became official.

"We're seeing $2 trillion deficits on the horizon, a trillion-plus interest on the debt next year, which will be more than we're spending on our military. That will be the second-highest mandatory spending, the interest on our debt, second only to Social Security. It will pass Medicare," Hern told show host Jody Hice. "We're quicky going to a place of insolvency. If not for the ability to print money, we'd have been bankrupt a long time ago."

Substantial GOP wins, Johnson says

Responding to criticism on Thursday, Speaker Johnson said on CNBC, "Democracy is messy. It's particularly messy right now and in a moment like this, but we have to get the job done. There are some very substantial wins in here."

The bill includes a 20% cut in DHS funding for nonprofits that assist migrants as well as reduced funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), The Wall Street Journal reports.

UNRWA has come under increased fire after revelations that 12 of its employees – nine in its schools – were direct participants in the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel.

The U.S. is UNRWA's biggest contributor, typically sending more than $300 million a year. The Biden administration paused funding in January after reports of Oct. 7 participation. The bill won't allow U.S. aid to flow through UNRWA for at least a year, though aid for Palestinians could flow through other sources.

Hern, Rep. Kevin (R-Oklahoma) Hern

Hern and other hard-line conservatives say the wins pale in comparison to the looming impacts of the deficit.

"It's not a way to run a country. We can't look inward, and we're complaining about the rest of the world. It sends messages to places like China that we can't even run our own house," Hern said.

Hern has company in his criticism of the $1.2 trillion spending bill, including these posts by Republican lawmakers on X:

  • "Less than 24 hrs to review – the #SwampOmnibus – 1000+ pages & $1.2 Trillion – busts spending caps to fund the WHO, woke DOD, a weaponized FBI new headq, & 100% fails to stop Progressive Democrats’ mass releases of criminals across our borders." (Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas)
  • "A vote for today's atrocious spending bill is a vote for Chinese terrorism. We've had over 30,000 illegal aliens from China cross our border under this Administration's border policies. You vote for it, you own it." (Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona)
  • "Well, the D.C. cartel is at it again. They released a $1.2 trillion minibus at 2:32 a.m. this morning, giving us somewhere in the neighborhood of about 48 hours to review it before they're going to bring it up for a vote." (Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Montana)