Title: House Republicans Pursue Two-Step Plan for Government Funding Ahead of Spending Deadline
House Republicans are unveiling a two-step plan in their efforts to secure funding for the government as Congress approaches another spending deadline on Friday. Led by House Speaker Mike Johnson, the plan aims to extend funding at current levels, a decision that diverges from the deep spending cuts that right-wing members have been advocating for.
Under the proposed plan, the first bill would extend funding until January 19 for critical sectors including military construction, Veterans Affairs, transportation, housing, and the Energy Department. The second bill would follow, extending funding until February 2 for the remaining government areas.
While the two-step approach has gained traction among Republican hardliners, some senators argue that the plan is too complicated for effective implementation. Democrats, however, have signaled their openness to Johnson’s proposal, highlighting their support for the defense funding included in the plan without unnecessary cuts.
The response from the White House press secretary has been less favorable, criticizing Johnson’s plan as potentially leading to more chaos and shutdowns within the Republican party.
Republicans had previously explored multiple alternatives, including a simpler stopgap bill. However, differing opinions within the conference have hindered consensus on the best approach to take.
Representative Chip Roy, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, has expressed opposition to Johnson’s plan due to the lack of deep spending cuts. This opposition could potentially pose a challenge for Johnson’s efforts as he needs to secure a rule approved by a majority vote in the House, with the risk of losing support from four Republican representatives.
While Democrats are critical of the two-step approach, they acknowledge that Johnson’s plan successfully avoids the implementation of spending cuts they oppose.
Failure to pass a spending plan by Friday may result in the halt of certain government operations, although essential functions will continue. Government shutdowns have proven to have economic consequences in the past, contributing to an increase in the unemployment rate and a decrease in GDP growth.
As this is an ongoing story, stay tuned for further developments and updates on the proposed funding plan.