With the government shutdown just six days away, newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is unveiling his strategy to avert it to fellow Republicans.
During a conference call with Republican lawmakers, Johnson outlined his approach, which involves a two-step government funding plan described as a “laddered CR” or continuing resolution, according to multiple sources cited by ABC News. It’s worth noting that this essential legislation does not include funding provisions for Israel, Ukraine or border security.
Johnson said, “This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories. The bill will stop the absurd holiday-season omnibus tradition of massive, loaded-up spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess. Separating out the CR from the supplemental funding debates places our conference in the best position to fight for fiscal responsibility, oversight over Ukraine aid and meaningful policy changes at our Southern border.”
The mechanics of the bill’s operation, however, involve some complexity.
Typically, Congress employs a short-term funding bill, also referred to as a stopgap measure or CR, to maintain the government’s operation at its existing spending levels. This is the approach that Congress had recently adopted to avert a shutdown just a few weeks ago.
However, Johnson has made it clear that this approach is not under consideration.
Instead, he’s advocating for a strategy that establishes two distinct deadlines for the continued operation of various government components. There are two separate extensions, each only two weeks apart. One is set for January 19, and another is set for February 2.
When presenting his strategy, Johnson noted that he has held the speaker position for just a few weeks, emphasizing that he wasn’t the one responsible for the current situation.
OVERNIGHT: Speaker Mike Johnson is set to unveil his plan to avoid a government shutdown this week. ABC's @EmNewsDC is on Capitol Hill to break it all down. https://t.co/QgAX7wRgUQ pic.twitter.com/yXLR8jUXqg
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 12, 2023
Despite the pitch, several Republicans are expressing doubt about Johnson’s proposal for government funding.
At least two of them have declared their intention to vote against it. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-TN) have both stated that they will vote no.
The impending deadline for plan approval is the end of the day next Friday, November 17. With the House having adjourned for the week on Thursday, there remain only a few days for negotiations when House lawmakers reconvene on Monday.