This was a busy week in DC, as the House ended nearly three weeks of searching and voted Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson to be Speaker.  After three other candidates failed to muster sufficient Republican support, Johnson won the unanimous approval of the entire Republican caucus.  The 18 Biden-district Republicans and a handful of other moderate Republicans all voted for the new Speaker despite his history of voting as a far-right conservative.

Speaker Johnson will need to find a middle ground on some important issues as he tries to steer the House through the tough issues that need action right now.

The current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires in a few weeks on November 17. The new Speaker has reportedly told colleagues that he wants the House to start passing appropriation bills, but he realizes that final versions are unlikely to pass by the November 17 deadline.  Still, he wants to avoid a shutdown and has told colleagues he is supportive of an extension of the current CR but may need to add some cuts or other provisions to get House Republican support.  The ultimate goal remains to pass full-year funding with budget cuts. 

The new Speaker has already had a brief meeting with President Biden and a meeting with Senate Republican Leader McConnell. Before...

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