House Republicans Will Need Democratic Support to Pass Any Meaningful Legislation in 2024

( – During the midterm elections, Republicans gained a slim majority in the House of Representatives, but they’ve had a hard time trying to pass legislation. It’s not for lack of trying but rather a lack of support. In 2024, they’re likely to be met with more of the same, and they will likely need Democratic support in order to pass any meaningful legislation.

The GOP has been somewhat of a mess in the Lower Chamber, with the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last year and trouble electing a new one. Now, there are rumblings that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) faces the same struggles because some representatives are unhappy that he’s working with Democrats like his predecessor. However, that’s looking like it will need to be the norm moving forward.

According to Axios, Republican leaders have made it clear that any significant legislation will be brought to the House floor using a procedural move known as suspension of the rules. When this is in effect, it limits debate, prevents floor amendments, and requires only a two-thirds majority, approximately 290 votes, to pass. Implementing the rule of suspension ultimately led to McCarthy’s ouster and resignation when he used the procedure to pass the 45-day stopgap measure that prevented a government shutdown.

Johnson used a similar move in November when the House passed a continuing resolution with a “laddered” approach—stumbling dates—to avoid a government shutdown. His party members weren’t happy with the approach but didn’t come for his gavel like they threatened to. However, things became tense in December and then again this month when GOP members blocked a symbolic bill in protest of his working with the Democrats on a spending bill.

Most of the time, suspension of the rules is enacted because hardline Republicans, namely those belonging to the House Freedom Caucus, make it difficult to get any real legislation through. With several prominent bills on the table, including a funding bill for Ukraine and the border, appropriations bills to keep the government running, and a tax proposal, it seems like we will see more of the same approach in the coming months.

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