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Government shutdown deal not yet reached, House GOP looks to long-term plans



House Republicans on Friday continued work on a plan that would move several long-term spending bills through the chamber next week, fulfilling a long-standing request by hard-right lawmakers with no guarantee it will break loose the necessary support for a short-term funding solution to avoid a government shutdown.

After a handful of House Republicans blocked their party from considering funding bills twice this week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) continued to insist that his conference will find a solution to fund the government without relying on Democratic support.

“I believe we have a majority here and we can work together to solve this,” McCarthy told reporters Friday, roughly one week before the government will shut down if a deal isn’t reached. “It might take us a little longer.”

McCarthy’s latest proposal is for lawmakers returning Tuesday to begin the process of considering and amending bills that would fund four government departments for all of fiscal 2024. However, it remains unclear if Republicans have enough support to overcome a procedural vote to even start debate on these bills, which is the same hurdle that five Republicans blocked twice this week.

Leaders hope that by amending the Defense and Homeland Security Department bills on the floor, they can appease certain objectors with policy concerns. Most notably, McCarthy said the House would remove any funding for Ukraine from existing legislation and put it up as a separate vote, a singular concession to earn the support of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).


In a video posted Friday on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, Greene said she was mad at leadership because she has consistently said she would not support spending any money on Ukraine, only to be finally taken seriously after she voted against starting debate on the Defense Department bill Thursday.

“All week long I have been saying, ‘Take the money out and I will vote for it.’ But they didn’t respect me, they didn’t respect other people, they didn’t respect the American people,” she said. Greene voted Tuesday to advance the Defense Department bill, but switched her vote to no on Thursday.

The changes could be made if Republicans don’t block the procedural vote set for Tuesday. Rep. Marcus J. Molinaro (R-N.Y.), a moderate who has been involved in ongoing negotiations, suggested that there will be enough support to start debate on four appropriation bills if assurances could be made about the process, including the amendments process.

But just focusing on passing full-year appropriation bills next week does nothing to avert a shutdown by Sept. 30, when the current fiscal year funding runs out. While McCarthy and several other lawmakers have said they hope to find a compromise among Republicans to pass a short-term deal that averts a shutdown, two proposed pathways to do so were rejected this week by more than four Republicans, who say they will never vote for any stopgap bill.

Those same members have also said they would never support a package of appropriation bills — known as a minibus — further complicating the effort to gather the votes needed to support the path Republicans are pursuing next week.

Asked whether he would need a short-term funding deal to continue approving appropriation bills, McCarthy said he would “like to” and that the House “needs to,” but deflected questions on how he would find a deal that all conservatives support.

With no indication that the House can garner enough GOP support to send a stopgap bill to the Senate — a responsibility the Constitution dictates begin in the House — Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN on Friday that the Senate may have to move their short-term funding solution before the House next week.


He has been talking with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about that prospect, adding, “we have a great deal of agreement on many parts of this.”

The Senate will vote on the measure Tuesday to take up a short-term funding solution, called a continuing resolution. While discussions are ongoing, it will likely extend current government funding until November or December, include an extension of the Federal Aviation Administration bill, which expires at the end of the fiscal year, and potentially include an extension of the farm bill, according to two people familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations. Negotiations are also ongoing to decide whether $16 billion of disaster aid and $24 billion of aid for Ukraine will be attached.

It would then be McCarthy’s decision whether to put the expected bipartisan Senate proposal on the House floor for a vote. McCarthy’s insistence on passing a bill with the full support of his conference is based on the ongoing threat by many hard-right lawmakers who say they will look to oust him as speaker if he relies on Democrats to fund the government.

One way some House Republicans are trying to avert a shutdown is by using a vehicle known as a discharge petition, which allows an already-introduced bill to be used as a shell for other legislative text. In this case, a deal struck by Republicans and Democrats could be tacked on to the eventual Senate proposal.

Molinaro wouldn’t discuss such a move, but fellow New York Republican Rep. Michael Lawler spent Friday morning on X pushing holdouts to recognize that not passing any conservative bills means they all will end up with deals stuck with Democrats.

“If my colleagues won’t pass a conservative CR — they leave many of us with no choice but to pass a bipartisan one. Pass the CR while we work through the single subject appropriation bills,” he posted.

Source: Washington Post


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