Thursday, July 11, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson on Saturday presented a complex plan to House Republicans to avoid a government shutdown at the end of next week. The proposal involves a bill that would temporarily extend funding for some federal agencies until late January and for others through early February.

However, the plan faces uncertainty in Congress due to the demands of many conservative House Republicans for spending cuts. Additionally, Democrats and some G.O.P. senators have questioned the idea of splitting federal programs and staggering funding deadlines.

A vote on the plan could happen as early as Tuesday, just days before the Friday midnight deadline for keeping the government funded.

The bill aims to address the concerns of hard-right lawmakers who oppose the routine practice of funding the entire government through a single bill. Some ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus members endorsed the two-step idea.

Johnson wrote on social media that the bill would stop the holiday-season tradition of large spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess. The legislation would extend government funding for various federal programs through Jan. 19 and for all other federal programs through Feb. 2.

The bill excludes funding for Ukraine or Israel, which Johnson framed as a way for Republicans to have stronger bargaining power in negotiations on an emergency national security spending bill. However, it is unclear whether there is enough support for the plan from both House Republicans and Democrats.

Hours after the legislation was unveiled, the White House press secretary expressed skepticism about the plan, calling it “a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns.”

The White House statement criticized House Republicans for “wasting precious time” with an unserious proposal. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up the legislation on Monday afternoon, setting up a vote on the House floor as early as Tuesday.

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