House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), going through the primary massive check of his management since taking up the function slightly over two weeks in the past, proposed Saturday to keep away from a authorities shutdown set to start after subsequent Friday by briefly extending funding into early 2024.
While the proposed invoice would have funding expire for various companies at completely different occasions, it might additionally antagonize the a part of his celebration that desires to see spending cuts as shortly as potential and probably put his job on the road.
Johnson offered the plan as a strategy to clear the decks for House Republicans to struggle on extra politically pleasant turf by means of the top of the yr.
“Separating out the CR from the supplemental funding debates places our conference in the best position to fight for fiscal responsibility, oversight over Ukraine aid, and meaningful policy changes at our Southern border,” Johnson posted on social media after a uncommon weekend House Republican convention name.
None of the 12 annual particular person payments funding most authorities companies and packages outdoors of Social Security and Medicare have handed Congress and been signed into legislation but. At the top of September, Congress, with solely hours to spare, handed a stopgap invoice to maintain the federal government open however solely by means of Friday.
The selection by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to depend on Democratic votes to get that invoice over the end line within the House set off an uproar inside the House GOP that noticed him turn out to be the primary speaker faraway from the put up by a House vote.
It additionally set off three weeks of squabbling by House Republicans as they tried to determine who ought to succeed McCarthy. After two candidates bailed earlier than they may even get a ground vote and one couldn’t get the required 217 votes, the little-known Johnson emerged because the compromise winner.
But the choice to supply a comparatively “clean” stopgap invoice — one with out objectionable coverage add-ons or funding cuts doubtless to attract severe Democratic opposition — will doubtless upset celebration hardliners who wish to see spending cuts.
“It’s 100% clean. And I 100% oppose,” stated Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a member of the House Freedom Caucus and perennial spending hawk, in a social media put up.
Democrats have stated they’d solely help a clear extension with out circumstances or add-ons. But a Senate management aide stated Saturday, “It’s a good thing the speaker didn’t include unnecessary cuts and kept defense funding with the second group of programs.”
Johnson’s process is troublesome as a result of Republicans can solely afford to lose 4 GOP votes if they don’t wish to depend on Democratic votes to go the invoice. Democrats will doubtless object to the “two-step” nature of the invoice, the place some departments like Agriculture, Justice, Veterans Affairs and Transportation would solely be funded by means of Jan. 19, whereas big-ticket departments, like Defense and Health and Human Services, can be funded by means of Feb. 2.
The invoice would additionally prolong packages that assist farmers by means of September of subsequent yr as a brand new farm invoice is negotiated.
After closing the House for 3 weeks whereas choosing a brand new speaker, many Republicans are gun shy about being probably blamed for a authorities shutdown so quickly afterward. But, as Johnson famous, there are different areas other than the funds the place Republicans count on to struggle with Democrats, together with support to Israel and Ukraine, border safety coverage and a revamp of home anti-terror surveillance guidelines.
Igor Bobic contributed reporting to this story.