House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, is facing challenges in passing his plan to avoid a government shutdown due to growing opposition within the House GOP conference. To secure the necessary votes, Johnson will need support from House Democrats, given the slim Republican majority. In response to the looming deadline, Johnson has proposed a short-term funding extension known as a continuing resolution (CR). However, the absence of spending cuts in the proposal is causing divisions among Republicans, leaving them with the dilemma of either meeting hardliner demands or collaborating with Democrats.
GOP Opposition and Resistance from House Democrats:
A number of House Republicans, including Chip Roy, Warren Davidson, Bob Good, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and George Santos, have voiced their opposition to the CR. They express concerns about the lack of spending reductions, border security provisions, and conservative policy concessions. However, introducing such amendments to the CR could hinder its chances of passing in the Senate, which is under Democratic control. For the bill to pass solely along party lines, the House GOP can only afford to lose four Republican votes.
Johnson’s Plan and Democratic Response:
Speaker Johnson’s plan involves setting separate deadlines for funding different government sectors to establish more targeted objectives. It prioritizes less controversial appropriations bills, leaving the remaining bills to be negotiated by February 2. While some Democrats have criticized the plan, the House Democratic leadership has not explicitly opposed it yet. The absence of spending cuts may attract support from left-wing lawmakers who prefer a clean funding extension. A procedural vote is scheduled for Tuesday to advance the bill, according to the House GOP leadership.
Fractures in the House GOP:
Disagreements over spending have been a significant source of discord within the divided House GOP conference. The introduction of a clean CR by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy resulted in his losing his position. Johnson, despite beginning with more support, is now facing similar divisions as the battle over the CR intensifies. Representative Scott Perry, Chair of the Freedom Caucus, also expressed his dissatisfaction with Johnson’s plan, highlighting concerns about fiscal irresponsibility.
House Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan to avert a government shutdown is encountering 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 divisions among Republicans, making them choose between meeting hardliner demands or collaborating with Democrats. Johnson’s plan to establish separate deadlines for government funding sectors has faced criticism, but it may receive support from some left-wing lawmakers. As the deadline approaches, Johnson’s ability to navigate the divisions within his party and gain Democratic support will determine the fate of his plan and the avoidance of a government shutdown.