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Was the shutdown crisis just averted?
The House passed a continuing resolution to kick the budget can down the road until early 2024. The bill, which funds some parts of the government through January 19 and others through February 2, will now advance to the Senate. Congress must act to fund the government by 11:59 pm on Friday to avert a shutdown.
The use of Groundhog Day in the CR is appropriate since shutdown crises are common, particularly when Republicans control the House of Representatives. The most recent crisis was less than two months ago in September. That crisis was averted by a deal that cost Kevin McCarthy his speakership.
The current deal is similar to the September agreement in that a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats acted together to find consensus. The new deal passed the House with 336 in favor, but that breakdown included 127 Republicans and 209 Democrats. That means that the Republican caucus was very nearly split down the middle with 93 nays.
It seems likely that the Senate will pass the compromise legislation, but the bigger question is what the vote means for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). Johnson’s predecessor was removed for reaching across the aisle against the wishes of the MAGA fringe, just as Johnson has now done.
The difference may be that McCarthy seemed to be the target of a personal vendetta by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Gaetz took quite a bit of flack from fellow Republicans for triggering the removal vote for McCarthy so, in addition to the lack of personal animosity between Johnson and the fringe right, Johnson’s opponents might think twice about attacking him directly.
I’m encouraged to see the two parties working together, but it will be interesting to see whether Johnson gets blowback from the fiscal hardliners for extending current spending levels.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE LEARNING TO FLY: A Twitter friend just published a book and I’d like to share it with you. Patrick Chovanec, an economist by trade, learned to fly during the pandemic. He wrote a book about his experience and “Cleared for the Option” is now available on Amazon.
Patrick’s book is a bit different than other flight training books because it goes beyond academic subjects and talks about what it’s like to be a student pilot. He shares the frustrations, challenges, and triumphs of the journey from student to solo to private pilot.
If you’re interested in becoming a pilot and want to know more about the process of becoming a licensed pilot, Chovanec’s book is for you. It’s a unique look at the flight training process from a student’s perspective. He’s a really good follow on the platform formerly known as Twitter as well.
Full Disclosure: I don’t make anything from the book, but I did act as a proofreader and fact-checker in the publication process.
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