House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, is facing a challenge in passing his plan to avert a government shutdown as opposition grows within the House GOP conference. To secure enough votes, Johnson will need support from House Democrats due to the slim Republican majority. With the deadline to fund the federal government rapidly approaching, Johnson has introduced a short-term funding extension known as a continuing resolution (CR). However, the lack of spending cuts in the proposal is causing divisions among Republicans, forcing them to decide between meeting hardliner demands or working with Democrats.
GOP Opposition and Opposition from House Democrats:
As of Monday morning, at least five House Republicans, including Chip Roy, Warren Davidson, Bob Good, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and George Santos, have expressed their opposition to the CR. They cite concerns about the absence of spending reductions, border security provisions, and conservative policy concessions. However, making such amendments to the CR may hinder its chances of passing in the Democratically controlled Senate. The House GOP can only afford to lose four Republican votes if they want to pass the bill solely along party lines.
Johnson’s Plan and Democratic Response:
Speaker Johnson’s plan entails creating separate deadlines for funding different government sectors, enabling more targeted goals. It prioritizes typically less controversial appropriations bills, with remaining bills to be negotiated by February 2. While several Democrats have criticized the plan, House Democratic leadership has not explicitly opposed it yet. The lack of spending cuts may attract support from left-wing lawmakers who prefer a clean funding extension. The House GOP leadership plans to hold a procedural vote on Tuesday to advance the bill.
Fractures in the House GOP:
Divisions over spending have been a major source of discord within the heavily fragmented House GOP conference. The introduction of a clean CR by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy cost him his position. Johnson, though starting with more goodwill, is now facing similar cracks as the CR fight intensifies. Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry also expressed his dissatisfaction with Johnson’s plan, highlighting concerns about fiscal irresponsibility.
House Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan to avoid a government shutdown faces opposition within the House GOP, necessitating support from House Democrats due to the slim Republican majority. The absence of spending cuts in the proposed continuing resolution has created a division among Republicans, forcing them to choose between hardliner demands or working with Democrats. Johnson’s plan to create separate deadlines for government funding sectors has drawn criticism, but it may win support from some left-wing lawmakers. As the deadline approaches, Johnson’s ability to navigate the divisions within his party and garner Democratic support will determine the fate of his plan and the avoidance of a government shutdown.