As Congress races toward another wasting deadline on Friday, House Republicans are pushing a two-step strategy for funding the federal government, three people with knowledge of the situation told the news channel.
On a GOP conference call with members on Saturday afternoon, newly appointed House Speaker Mike Johnson revealed the plan and asserted, I wasn’t in charge of the chaos we are in, according to an informant on the call.
Mike Johnson pitched the two-step strategy, thereby embracing the right-wing members of his conference, but he refrained from giving in to their demands. The package maintains funding at current levels rather than implementing the drastic spending cuts that his right flank pushed for.
According to Johnson’s statement on Saturday, House Republicans must pass this two-step continuing resolution in order to put themselves in the best possible position to battle for conservative successes.
The first bill, which would fund military development, Veteran’s Affairs, transportation, housing, and the Department of Energy, would extend money until January 19. The remainder of the government’s budget would be covered by the second portion of the bill, which would prolong funding until February 2. Neither bill proposes to increase aid to Ukraine or Israel.
Hardline Republicans promoted the two-step plan extensively, but many senators disregarded it as a convoluted solution that would be difficult to implement. Still, Democrats might find it more difficult to reject if funding for the agencies remains at its current levels.
According to a Senate Democratic leadership aide, Johnson’s funding plan is acceptable. She told CNN that the speaker should be applauded for not proposing needless cuts and for retaining defense funding for the second set of programs.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, however, dismissed Mike Johnson’s proposal as a surefire way to fuel further Republican mayhem and government shutdowns.
According to a statement from Jean-Pierre, House Republicans must quit squandering time on their personal political differences, get on with their work, and cooperate with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.
Republicans had been considering a few options prior to Saturday’s conference call, including the more intricate two-step approach that Johnson is promoting as well as a simpler stopgap bill with a few extra sweeteners.
The conference is split on which course of action to take; appropriators support a “pure” stopgap bill, while individuals of the Freedom Caucus advocate for a laddered strategy.
However, GOP Representative Chip Roy, a member of the extreme right-wing House Freedom Caucus, stated on X that he disagrees with Johnson’s plan because it does not include the significant spending cuts that the right had hoped for.
A two-step going-on resolution was previously criticized by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries as a nonstarter and as a right-wing joyride that would ruin the economy.
Mike Johnson Manages his Divided Conference
Senior Democratic sources, however, told CNN on Sunday that they prefer to wait to take a stand until after Mike Johnson manages his divided conference and to see if Republicans alter the plans.
Johnson must first secure the approval of a rule establishing the parameters for a floor debate in order for the bill to be approved by a majority vote in the House. Johnson is able to lose just four Republicans in order for the rule to be approved, though, as the minority party usually votes against it in lockstep. Given their public opposition to the underlying bill, it is unclear if Republican hardliners are going to provide him a chance to prove himself and support the rule.
A two-thirds majority is needed to approve a rule under suspension of the rules if they are unable to pass it otherwise. This implies that a sizable Democratic majority would be required to approve the legislation.
According to GOP leadership sources, they haven’t decided how to move forward.
Democrats are currently privately criticizing Johnson’s approach, claiming that it is not feasible to keep the government open in two stages. However, they also concede that Johnson eschewed their red line—cutting expenditures.
The crucial query is: What percentage of Democrats will finally back the plan? The GOP’s floor plan might be unlocked by the solution.
Many government activities will stop on Friday if lawmakers are unable to pass a spending plan. This will happen until Congress takes action. Nonetheless, government operations that are judged necessary will go on.
Every federal agency develops a contingency plan outlining which of its operations will keep going in the event of a shutdown, along with the number of employees who will work through the shutdown and the number who will be placed on leave until it ends.
Government shutdowns can have a significant negative impact on the economy nationally, particularly if they prolong and impede growth. Increasing the cost of borrowing money, decreasing the rate of growth in the gross domestic product, and increasing the unemployment rate are some of these costs.