House to consider stopgap funding measure Tuesday to avert government shutdown

By | November 14, 2023

Washington — House Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan to prevent a government shutdown will be considered by the House on Tuesday, according to a notice sent to lawmakers Monday evening.

The stopgap measure to temporarily fund the government, known as a continuing resolution, will come before the House under a procedure known as suspension of the rules. That allows him to bypass the House Rules Committee, where Republicans had signaled they would not advance the bill. Considering the measure suspended has some caveats: it cannot be amended and it requires a two-thirds majority to pass the House.

That’s the approach former Speaker Kevin McCarthy took for the last continuing resolution in late September. All Democrats in the House voted for the bill, and this tactic successfully prevented a government from forming. closebut it cost McCarthy the presidency, after Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a vote of censure against him.

Like McCarthy, Johnson will have to rely on Democrats to pass the stopgap measure, but so far there is no indication that Republicans would rush to oust Johnson in the same way McCarthy was impeached, since he has had so little time as president.

Johnson unveiled his provisional bill On Saturday, it would extend government funding at current levels for some agencies until January 19, while others would be funded until February 2. This does not include the deep spending cuts demanded by the Conservatives, but it also does not include funding for Ukraine and Israel. and the southern border.

“The bill will end the absurd, omnibus holiday tradition of introducing massive, loaded spending bills just before the Christmas holiday,” the Louisiana Republican said in a statement describing the plan in two stages.

The House Rules Committee met Monday afternoon to consider the bill, but it did not adopt a rule allowing the bill to be debated on the floor. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a committee member, was one of the first Republicans to oppose Johnson’s plan.

“I can agree to a temporary extension if we get real ‘wins’ on…well…EVERYTHING. But not just a punt,” he wrote before the committee meeting.

Besides Roy, Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Warren Davidson of Ohio, George Santos of New York, Bob Good of Virginia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said they opposed the measure. So if they all vote against the bill, Johnson will need Democratic support to pass it.

Before a new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, Congress is tasked with passing a dozen appropriations bills that fund many federal government agencies for another year. Bills are often grouped into one large piece of legislation, called an “omnibus” bill.

The House passed seven bills, while the Senate passed three, packed into a “minibus.” None managed to pass through both chambers.

Congress passed a last-minute deal in September to keep the federal government open until mid-November, just hours before the shutdown took effect.

The bipartisan agreement angered far-right members who were opposed to any short-term extension of government funding at current levels and wanted the House to instead address individual spending bills. Critics of then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ousted him from the rolewhich paralyzed the lower house from the adoption of any legislation in favor three weeks as Republicans have failed to reach a consensus on who should replace him.

Johnson recognized earlier this month that there was “growing recognition” that another stopgap spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, is needed to avoid a government shutdown, adding that Republicans were considering a new approach to temporarily funding the government.

He called this approach a “tiered” continuing resolution that would set different funding durations for individual appropriations bills. The bill he introduced Saturday extends appropriations for veterans programs, transportation, housing, agriculture and energy until January 19. Funding for eight other appropriations bills, including defense, would be extended until February 2.

Last week, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York called the “tiered” approach a “non-starter.” But the bill’s exclusion of spending cuts and amendments makes it more attractive to Democrats. Jeffries said such a bill “is the only way forward.”

A White House statement Saturday condemning the bill as an “unserious proposal” did not result in a veto threat. President Biden signaled Monday that he might be willing to sign it if it passes Congress.

“I’m not going to make a judgment on what I would veto and what I would sign, let’s wait and see what they come up with,” Biden told reporters.

Senate Democrats have mostly refrained from criticizing him. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday called the bill “far from perfect” but said the “most important thing” is that it excludes steep cuts and defense spending were included in the February extension.

The Senate was scheduled to hold a procedural vote Monday evening on a legislative vehicle for extending short-term funding, but delayed the vote.

“We are pausing our plans to move forward on the Senate vehicle to allow the House to move forward with its proposal first,” Schumer said of the delay.

Jack Turman contributed reporting.

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