House Republican Party Pursues Two-Step Plan to Avoid Government Shutdown

By | November 11, 2023


House Republicans are pursuing a two-step plan to fund the government, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN, as Congress heads toward another spending deadline next Friday.

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson announced the plan during a conference call with GOP members Saturday afternoon and maintained that “I was not the architect of the mess we find ourselves in ”, according to a source present on the call.

Although Johnson embraced his conference’s right wing by proposing a two-step approach, he did not completely give in to their wishes. The plan does not include the drastic spending cuts demanded by his right flank, but extends funding to its current levels.

“This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to put House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories,” Johnson said in a statement Saturday.

The first bill would extend funding through Jan. 19 and include military construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Housing and the Department of Energy. The second part of the bill, which would extend funding until February 2, would include funding for the rest of the government.

Neither bill provides additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.

The two-step approach has been widely advocated by Republican hard-liners, but rejected by many senators as a complicated solution that is difficult to implement and execute. Still, because agency funding would remain at current levels, it could be harder for Democrats to reject.

Before Saturday’s conference call, Republicans had considered several options, including a simpler stopgap bill with some sweeteners added as well as the more complicated two-step approach proposed by Johnson.

The conference was divided on which option to pursue, with appropriators favoring an interim solution and members of the Freedom Caucus pushing for the phased approach.

Yet Republican Rep. Chip Roy, who is part of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, said on X that he was against Johnson’s plan because it did not include the deep spending cuts the right wanted.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries previously criticized the prospect of a two-step continuing resolution as a failure, calling it “a right-wing spree that would crash and burn the economy.”

If lawmakers fail to pass a spending plan by next Friday, many government operations will be halted until Congress acts. However, government functions deemed essential will continue.

Each federal agency develops a contingency plan that outlines which functions will continue during a shutdown and which will stop, as well as how many of its employees will continue working and how many will be furloughed until the shutdown ends.

Nationally, state shutdowns can have significant economic consequences, hindering growth and fostering uncertainty, especially if they are prolonged. Some of these costs include increase the unemployment rate, reduce gross domestic product growth and increase the cost of borrowing.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Shania Shelton contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *