House Republicans look to pass two-step package to avoid partial government shutdown

by Ethan Kim
Government Shutdown Plan

House Republicans are preparing a two-part plan to avert a partial government shutdown, as detailed by House Speaker Mike Johnson. He proposed extending funding for specific agencies and programs until January 19, with others extended until February 2. This approach, diverging from the typical practice of uniform funding extensions, arises from GOP concerns about large spending bills during the holiday season.

Johnson emphasized the importance of this strategy for securing conservative achievements, highlighting its divergence from the usual practice of introducing substantial spending bills just before the Christmas recess.

The proposed bill does not include funding requested by President Biden for Israel, Ukraine, and the U.S.-Mexico border. Johnson believes this separation will strengthen the GOP’s stance on fiscal responsibility and policy reform, particularly regarding aid to Ukraine and border policy.

Despite their general reluctance towards temporary funding measures, hardline conservatives have shown some flexibility towards Johnson’s proposed continuing resolution (CR). This measure is seen as a necessary step to allow more time for long-term budget negotiations.

However, Rep. Chip Roy expressed strong opposition to this plan on Twitter, criticizing its continuation of spending levels and policies set by the previous administration. The White House also criticized the proposal, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre labeling it unrealistic and a potential threat to national security and domestic programs. She urged House Republicans to resolve their internal disagreements and work cooperatively to avoid a shutdown.

The current government funding operates under the previous year’s levels set by a Democrat-led House and Senate. Following the end of the fiscal year on September 30, Congress had passed a 47-day CR, leading to significant consequences including the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. This turmoil underscored the divisions within the Republican party over policy and spending priorities, which continued to impact legislative processes, such as the recent withdrawal of two spending bills due to insufficient support.

Johnson’s proposal, as outlined in a document obtained by The Big Big News, includes extending funding for four key spending bills until January 19, covering veterans, transportation, housing, agriculture, and energy. The remaining eight bills, including defense and Homeland Security, would be extended until February 2.

Johnson, having assumed office less than three weeks ago, is dealing with a challenging budget situation and is now focused on passing a CR to avoid a shutdown.

Adding to the urgency, Moody’s Investors Service recently downgraded the U.S. government’s debt outlook to “negative,” citing rising interest rates and congressional polarization. House Republicans attribute this change to the soaring national debt, now exceeding $33 trillion, and the increasing burden of interest costs. In response, Johnson announced the GOP’s commitment to bipartisan fiscal restraint, starting with the establishment of a debt commission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Government Shutdown Plan

What is the two-part funding plan proposed by House Speaker Mike Johnson?

House Speaker Mike Johnson has proposed a two-part funding plan to prevent a partial government shutdown. This plan involves extending government funding for certain agencies and programs until January 19, and for others until February 2. The approach is unconventional, aiming to address concerns about large spending bills during the holiday season.

Why does the plan exclude funding for certain items requested by President Biden?

The plan excludes funding for items requested by President Biden, such as aid for Israel, Ukraine, and border management with Mexico. Speaker Johnson believes that separating these requests from the temporary funding measure will allow the GOP to better advocate for fiscal responsibility and oversight, especially regarding Ukraine aid and border policy reforms.

What has been the response to the two-part funding plan from other politicians and the White House?

The response to the funding plan has been mixed. Some hardline conservatives, usually opposed to temporary funding measures, have shown flexibility. However, Rep. Chip Roy has expressed strong opposition. The White House, through press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, criticized the plan as unrealistic and potentially harmful to national security and domestic programs. She urged House Republicans to work towards a bipartisan solution to prevent a shutdown.

How has the recent downgrade of the U.S. government’s debt outlook by Moody’s Investors Service impacted the situation?

The recent downgrade of the U.S. government’s debt outlook to “negative” by Moody’s Investors Service has added urgency to the fiscal situation. The downgrade is attributed to rising interest rates and political polarization in Congress. House Republicans view this as a consequence of the national debt exceeding $33 trillion and rising interest costs, reinforcing the need for fiscal restraint.

What are the implications of the proposed funding plan for the political dynamics within the Republican Party?

The proposed funding plan highlights ongoing divisions within the Republican Party over fiscal policy and spending priorities. These divisions were previously evident in the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker and the challenges in passing other spending bills. The plan’s reception and implementation could further influence the party’s internal dynamics and legislative strategy.

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JohnDoe72 November 12, 2023 - 9:00 pm

wow, this plan seems like a big step for the republicans, but i’m not sure splitting the funding like that is gonna work. seems like it’s just kicking the can down the road?

politicsjunky November 12, 2023 - 9:13 pm

can’t believe they’re leaving out funding for Ukraine and the border, what are they thinking?? and moody’s downgrade is just another sign that things are getting messier.

Samantha_in_DC November 12, 2023 - 9:16 pm

The whole thing just shows how divided the GOP is right now, McCarthy getting booted was just the start of it. Johnson’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure.

fiscalhawk99 November 13, 2023 - 4:48 am

finally, some fiscal responsibility! good to see some pushback against massive spending. but will it be enough to get things under control with the debt sky high…


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