2024 Election

Mike Johnson Making Plans To Move Fast On Issues If GOP Wins Senate And White House

House Speaker Mike Johnson is making plans to move rapidly on legislation on a multitude of issues if the GOP wins the White House and Senate and retains a majority in the House in November’s election.

Johnson asserted that in 2017, the GOP didn’t fully take advantage of the budget reconciliation process, by which they could have passed bills on multiple issues because they were focused on tax cuts.

“We did one round of health care reform, one round of tax reform, right, but there are multiple issue areas that we think can and should survive the Byrd Rule analysis and being allowed here. So we’re just looking at it from a very different, much more comprehensive approach. And I think there’s a lot of interest among House Republicans — and the outside groups of course — about what that can look like and what the potential is,” Johnson said, according to Punchbowl News.

The Byrd rule can be cited by a senator to challenge provisions of a reconciliation bill.

Johnson is already planning on moving rapidly, saying the GOP “wasted at least a couple of months” during the first quarter of former President Donald Trump’s term; he surmised the GOP was not prepared because they thought Hillary Clinton would win the election.

“The cautionary analysis on that is that we’re going to have such an aggressive first 100 days agenda if we get unified government, which we anticipate will have, that it might encumber that agenda somewhat if you then have to deal with the appropriations process,” he said. “So we’re very carefully analyzing the number of calendar days that we’ll have to work, floor time, all the rest — everything that will be required to achieve all these big goals that we have. So that’s the analysis and there are a number of ideas on the table right now.”

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The process of budget reconciliation works like this, as the Heritage Foundation explains:

First, the Senate and House individually adopt a budget resolution that contains instructions to specific committees to develop legislation to achieve desired budgetary results, such as cutting spending and decreasing tax revenue. 

Second, the committees prepare and report out legislation to fulfill the instructions by specified deadlines. In some cases where more than one committee in each chamber is involved, each chamber’s budget committee assembles the responses into one bill and reports it out to the full House or Senate.

Third, the House and Senate each take up their own reconciliation bill and advance it under the expedited procedures.

Fourth, through a conference committee or other means, the House and Senate resolve their differences.

Fifth, the House and Senate each vote on the final bill, which the president then signs or vetoes.

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