The House on Thursday passed a partisan Republican energy spending plan, the first government funding bill approved in the chamber under newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson.
The “Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act” passed almost entirely along party lines in a 210-199 vote. It would slash renewable energy and climate-friendly programs passed as part of last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
“The bill cuts more than $5 billion in spending that was passed as part of Democrats’ signature climate, tax and health care bill — which was approved without GOP support last year,” The Hill reports. “The legislation is unlikely to become law, as the White House has threatened to veto it, but it represents the House Republican position on energy- and water-related issues as they negotiate 2024 funding with the Democrat-led Senate and the White House.”
With Johnson in as speaker, ending weeks of drama after the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republicans will look to complete the seven remaining annual appropriations bills ahead of eventual talks with Senate Democrats. (The House had already passed four of the 12 annual appropriations bills prior to this month.)
Johnson has outlined a plan seeking to quickly pass the funding bills but also enact a stopgap measure to prevent a shutdown if one is needed ahead of a November 17 deadline, when current funding expires.
Johnson is reportedly set to enjoy a bit of a honeymoon period on those funding bills, as hardliners are less likely to make the same demands as they did with McCarthy.
“Several hardliners said they're open to another short-term funding patch, albeit with conservative priorities attached, that would prevent a shutdown next month,” Politico’s Sarah Ferris, Caitlin Emma and Jennifer Scholtes write. “Some of those Republicans are even suddenly willing to disregard one of their biggest demands of McCarthy during the former speaker's tenure — cutting $115 billion from the GOP's existing spending topline.”
And Sahil Kapur of NBC News suggests that the new speaker — and his temporarily tranquil hardliners — should be able to avoid a shutdown next month: “Many House Republicans are likely to vote against a continuing resolution, but as long as they don’t retaliate against Johnson for leaning on some Democratic votes to pass it, Congress will be in good shape to avert a shutdown on Nov. 17.”