Rep. Johnson Votes to Keep the Government Open, Deliver Emergency Relief, Prevent Default

September 22, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) voted for critical legislation that would keep the federal government open, secure emergency funding to help communities devastated by natural disasters and help resettle Afghan refugees fleeing persecution and prevent a devastating debt default. 

This bill is essential to ensuring that the government can continue to deliver essential services that families depend on, while also preventing a first-ever default on the federal debt that would have a catastrophic impact on the American economy.

“I proudly voted to keep the federal government open so that Congress can continue our work For The People,” said Rep. Johnson.  “As our economy continues to rebound from the COVID crisis, we cannot afford to derail our economic growth and put at risk the livelihoods of American families. That is why Democrats have acted swiftly to keep the lights on so the government can continue to deliver essential services that so many families depend on, as well as acted swiftly to prevent the utter catastrophe of an unprecedented debt default.”

This legislation:

  • Secures government funding through December of this year, ensuring the uninterrupted operations of essential government services and allowing for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to continue to advance appropriations priorities through the regular order process for Fiscal Year 2022.  
  • Delivers emergency funding for urgent priorities, including relief funding for communities devastated by this summer’s record-breaking natural disasters and funding to resettle Afghan refugees after the historic evacuation effort in August.
  • Suspends the debt ceiling through December 2022, so that the federal government can continue to meet the financial obligations it has already made, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, services for veterans and paychecks for members of the military.


Addressing the debt limit is a bipartisan responsibility.  Over the last decade, every time the debt limit has needed to be addressed, Congress has come together and acted on a bipartisan basis.  Over his four-year term, President Trump incurred $7.8 trillion in debt – and during those four years, Republicans and Democrats worked together to increase or suspend the debt limit three separate times.  Now, under President Biden, many Republicans refuse to join Democrats in addressing the debt limit.  This is blatantly hypocritical, given that only 3 percent of the current debt was accumulated under President Biden and more than 27 percent was incurred under President Trump.

Just two years ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “America can't default.  That would be a disaster” and supported suspending the debt limit as necessary because it “ensures our federal government will not approach any sort of short-term debt crisis in the coming weeks or months. It secures our nation’s full-faith and credit and ensures that Congress will not throw this kind of unnecessary wrench into the gear of our job growth and thriving economy.”  Yet, now, Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans are trying to force the first-ever default of the United States, which would devastate the economic well-being of American families. 

“The full faith and credit of the United States should never come under threat,” continued Rep. Johnson. “It’s shameful that Republicans have chosen to play political games with the economic health and security of millions of hard-working Americans.  Senate Republicans need to quit holding the American economy hostage and join us to swiftly pass this bill so we can get back to work Building Back Better.”

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Recent Votes

Date Roll Call Bill Vote
10/26/2021 336 H.R.2119 Yea
10/26/2021 335 H.R.2119 Nay
10/26/2021 334 H.R.2119 Yea
10/25/2021 333 H.R.2989 Yea
10/25/2021 332 H.R.4111 Yea