Senate Passes Government Spending Bill, Averts Shutdown

Senate Passes Government Spending Bill, Averts Shutdown

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
March 23, 2024

Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed a spending bill for the 2024 fiscal year, which means Congress has officially averted a government shutdown.

The Senate vote on the bill was 74-24 and, because of the late vote, few adjustments could be made. However, prior to the bill arriving at the Senate, the House made multiple adjustments. Those adjustments included decreased spending, detention beds for migrants being processed at the border, money for Border Patrol agents, $1 billion for Head Start programs, $120 million for cancer research and $100 million for Alzheimer’s research.

The first half of the bill already included funding for things like Veterans Affairs and Agriculture and Interior. The two halves of the bill in total are around $1.66 trillion.

Spending bills are typically passed in a single bill. However, Speaker Mike Johnson (R) has taken pride in splitting the omnibus bill. The omnibus bill includes several measures that take time to review. Republicans, specifically Johnson, view the concept of split bills as a chance to look into the bill and make potential adjustments.

Despite working with both Republicans and Democrats to get the bill passed, Johnson has taken extreme criticism from some Republicans for not accepting what many critics have called “poison pills” from some Republican representatives. The criticism has led to an attempt by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) to oust him from the House.

Republicans have taken much scrutiny for their leadership tactics over the last few years. The party has also seen recent departures from the House. Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R) announced that he is stepping down early, leaving the House GOP with a slim majority.

Gallagher’s departure follows former Colorado Representative Ken Buck’s (R) departure from the House. Several Republicans have expressed frustration with the GOP’s turn toward more hardcore conservative policies that are in line with Donald Trump’s stances on issues, leaving many Republicans feeling that the party has taken a shift away from true conservative policies.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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