House Republicans are pursuing a two-step plan for funding the government, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN, as Congress barrels toward another spending deadline next Friday.
Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson announced the plan on a GOP conference call with members Saturday afternoon and argued “I wasn’t the architect of the mess we are in,” according to a source on the call.
While Johnson embraced the right wing of his conference by pitching the two-step approach, he didn’t fully cave to their wishes. The package does not include the deep spending cuts that his right flank pushed for but instead extends funding at its current levels.
“This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories,” Johnson said in a statement Saturday.
The first bill would extend funding until January 19 and would include military construction, Veterans Affairs, transportation and housing as well as the Energy Department. The second part of the bill, which would extend funding until February 2, would include funding for the rest of the government.
Neither bill includes additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.
House Republicans on Saturday unveiled their stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown set to begin next weekend. But with just five legislative days left until the deadline, Congress has little room for error.
Just two and a half weeks into the job, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., opted to go with a two-step continuing resolution, or CR, over a more typical funding extension covering the entire federal government. The untested funding approach is aimed at appeasing far-right agitators in his GOP conference who despise CRs.
The House is expected to vote as early as Tuesday to give members 72 hours to read the text of the bill, according to two people familiar with matter. The plan does not include budget cuts or aid for Israel.
Under the two-step strategy — which Johnson and others have dubbed a “laddered CR” but which others have likened to a step stool — several spending bills needed to keep the government open would be extended until Jan. 19, while the remaining bills would go on a CR until Feb. 2.
GOP hardliners had been pushing Johnson to include budget cuts as part of his two-tiered CR plan, a source involved in discussions told NBC News. One House Republican, Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, quickly voiced his opposition to the bill shortly after it was released.
“It’s a 100% clean. And I 100% oppose,” Roy tweeted. “My opposition to the clean CR just announced by the Speaker to the @HouseGOP cannot be overstated. Funding Pelosi level spending & policies for 75 days — for future “promises.”
The plan is designed to avoid a messy showdown right before the holidays and buy Johnson and House Republicans more time to pass individual spending bills, but also create a sense of urgency with staggered funding cliffs. But it remains to be seen if the plan can pass the House, much less the Democratic-controlled Senate, which has dismissed the two-tiered approach.
Speaker Mike Johnson on Saturday pitched House Republicans on a convoluted plan to avert a government shutdown at the end of next week, proposing a bill that would temporarily extend funding for some federal agencies until late January and for others through early February.
The measure faces an uncertain fate in Congress. Many conservative House Republicans have demanded that any spending plan include deep spending cuts, and Democrats and some G.O.P. senators have sharply questioned the idea of bifurcating federal programs and staggering the deadlines for funding them.
A vote on the plan could come as early as Tuesday, just days before the Friday midnight deadline for keeping the government funded.
It’s enough to make you scream.
The American people are busy, tired, and broke. They have so much shit going on every day that for most of them, it’s hard to keep track of everything. So when you write articles like this, you think you are informing them, but you really aren’t. You’re distracting them from the real problem. You are making it so complicated and not giving them the information they need. Because the information they need is for every article about this to start with the following phrase:
“Because the Republicans refuse to simply pass a bill to raise the debt limit to pay for money that was already legislated and spent…”
That is the necessary information. Not the hoops and rings that Johnson has to jump through to appease the various nutters in his own party. Simply state that this is a problem THEY FUCKING MADE and now they are trying to fix the problem THAT THEY FUCKING MADE AND ARE MAKING. All of this could end tomorrow if they just passed a clean debt limit increase that they used to do for my entire fucking life until recently.