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Russ Vought Offers The Best Advice Mike Johnson Can Get


Editor’s Note: we found this on X, and we’re passing it along because we’re now picking up lots of rumors that House Speaker Mike Johnson is running into similar trouble from conservatives on Capitol Hill that his predecessor Kevin McCarthy did, and over the same problem – how to stem runaway federal spending and return the budget process to some semblance of regular order.

Johnson is essentially trying to turn around an aircraft carrier without much of a rudder. He’s only holding 219 votes thanks to the already tiny GOP majority which has shrunk thanks to a handful of retirements and – in George Santos’ case – an expulsion. That number doesn’t seem to be enough to get a majority for substantive efforts at reform, and worse, there is no help for Johnson at all on the Democrat side.

Is this an intractable problem? Vought, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration, doesn’t think so. Here, pulled from a series of X posts Vought offered yesterday afternoon, is a roadmap out of the budget nightmare that Johnson faces…

The rest of the thread…

Mike Johnson should pass a FULL YEAR continuing resolution that triggers the current law across-the-board reductions that would CUT nondefense spending by $73 billion/9% cut. Defense would NOT be cut.

Now, I hate continuing resolutions as much as the next person, because they normally extend the previous year’s spending. However, that is NOT the case in this particular moment bc of the unique situation we find ourselves in. Let me explain.

Kevin McCarthy & the Dems constructed a debt limit increase last year in which they were fundamentally trying to hide spending they both agreed to while making it appear to House Republicans that it was actually historic deficit reduction.

As part of that debt limit deal, negotiators set spending caps for this year, but the nondefense (NDD) cap was set artificially low ($704b), making it look like a cut. It was accompanied by a hand-shake “side deal” of $69 billion that would backfill all the agency accounts to keep the bureaucracy flush. This side deal (not in law) was secured in the person of one Kevin McCarthy to protect the cartels interests of business as usual.

These caps are enforced by across-the-board cuts (“sequesters”) of any amount of spending that exceeds them. Because the NDD cap was set lower, current law spending triggers a substantial cut automatically IF its the final spending bill of the year. And the defense cap was set higher than current law, so there is no cut.

My preference would be go to much, much lower. But the House has a slim majority now & even prior many of the spending cut amendments were failing. But the same manic, unreasonable fear of a shutdown from House Republicans is also what would ensure that the slim majority passes a full year CR triggering $73 billion in actual cuts & nearly $100 billion in less spending than Johnson is proposing now.

In short, conservatives like me opposed earlier short term CRs when the form detracted from our strategic purpose. This time, a full year CR is the best way to accomplish that same purpose given the change in circumstance (namely McCarthy losing his job).

Vought then posted this…

As the saying goes, this is the way.

We don’t have any information to indicate Vought is pushing this approach as the public face of a private conversation with Johnson, though that wouldn’t be an unreasonable assumption.

Because Johnson needs a win and he needs something that will placate the Freedom Caucus and other conservatives who are tired of nonstop runaway, inflationary government spending – most of which actually hurts the American economy rather than doing anything to strengthen it. Vast sums of that outlay don’t pay for roads, bridges or hospitals, but instead stupid and destructive leftist policies which only make people less prosperous and more dependent on government.

Without a massive wave election delivering big GOP majorities in both houses, the only way to turn things around is ratcheting them down. Vought offers a realistic approach to do that. Johnson ought to take him up on it.



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