Deadline to Avoid Government Shutdown Approaches: What Happens Next?
New House Speaker Mike Johnson's "first big clash" with lawmakers over "unconventional" two-step bill could lead to government shutdown.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson is currently facing his first major challenge as he navigates the early weeks of his new role. According to The Hill, Johnson recently introduced a unique two-step stopgap bill over the weekend. The bill aims to extend funding at current levels for some government agencies until mid-January, with the remainder receiving funding through early February.
However, this proposal has sparked division among Republicans, potentially leading to a government shutdown if they fail to reach a final agreement by Friday. Johnson defended the two-step continuing resolution, stating that it is necessary to position House Republicans for conservative victories.
CNN reported that Johnson's plan did not fully satisfy the wishes of the more conservative members of his conference. The first step of the bill would extend funding for military construction, Veterans Affairs, transportation, housing, and the Energy Department until January 19. The second step would encompass funding for the rest of the government until February 2.
During a weekend conference call, Johnson reportedly stated, "I wasn't the architect of the mess we are in," acknowledging the complexity of the situation. Members of the Freedom Caucus, as reported by the Associated Press, had outlined demands in August to avoid a shutdown, which are still not entirely addressed by the two-step budget proposal.
Rep. Chip Roy, a member of the Freedom Caucus, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, "You're storming the beaches of Normandy and somebody goes down, you don't sit around and form a committee." Despite the looming deadline to avoid a government shutdown, NBC News reported that the House plans to vote on the bill as early as Tuesday.
In summary, Speaker Johnson's proposed stopgap bill has sparked controversy and division within the Republican party, with the potential for a government shutdown looming. The coming days will be crucial in determining the outcome of this clash among lawmakers.