Will the Government Shut Down? Speaker Johnson Fights to Block ‘Spending Monstrosity’

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Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., unveiled a short-term spending plan on Saturday aimed at averting a government shutdown when federal funding runs out on Nov. 17.

The proposal in two steps would fund a part of the government until January 19, and the remainder until February 2. On Friday, a senior GOP aide said that the GOP is aiming for a House vote on Tuesday.

The supporters of a short-term bill that is staggered, also known as a “continuing resolution” (CR), claim it places targeted pressure on legislators to achieve their objectives at an incremental pace.

Johnson’s CR does not include any additional funding for Ukraine and Israel but it does extend some key programs under the Farm Bill, a piece of legislation which expires this year.

By extending funding to the next year, the speaker claimed that his plan would prevent lawmakers from making rash decisions during the holiday season. He also argued for its exclusion from President Biden’s request for $106 billion in supplemental aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as the southern border.

Johnson’s office stated that the plan would “prevent yet another irresponsible Christmas omnibus spending monstrosity.”

Johnson, in a press release after the bill’s unveiling, said that “this two-step continuing resolution is a necessary measure to put House Republicans in a position to fight for victories on behalf of conservatives.”

The bill will end the ridiculous holiday-season tradition of introducing massive, loaded-up spending bills right before Christmas recess. Our conference is in a better position to advocate for fiscal responsibility, oversight of Ukraine aid, and meaningful policy change at our Southern Border by separating the CR debates from the supplemental funds debates.

The plan first forces lawmakers to reckon with some of the traditionally less controversial appropriations bills — those concerning military construction and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The remaining eight appropriations bills must be worked out by Feb. 2.

House Republicans have pledged to pass 12 individual spending bills for the next fiscal year as opposed to a mammoth “omnibus” funding bill, which the previous Democratically-controlled Congress passed last year.

A majority of Republican legislators, including Johnson’s allies, have indicated that they understand the need for a CR to give them more time to work out a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

Some GOP hardliners have already come out against the bill for extending the “omnibus” priority they opposed.

It is impossible to overstate my opposition to the clean CR announced by the House GOP Speaker. Chip Roy, R. Texas, the Chair of the House Freedom Caucus’ Policy Committee, said that he would fund [former Speaker Nancy Pelosi]’s policies and spending for 75 days if she kept her promises.