Johnson’s Plan To Avoid Government Shutdown Falls Flat

With the government being only a few days away from a shutdown, newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled his plan to Republicans on Saturday afternoon via a GOP conference call with members to avert a government shutdown.

The first proposed bill would extend funding until January 19 and would include funding for transportation, housing, military construction, Veterans Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Energy Department. The second part of the bill would include funding for the rest of the government, whose funding expires on February 2.

“This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories,” Johnson stated after announcing the plan to House Republicans in a conference call.

The bill contained no funding for Ukraine, Israel or the border. Johnson stated that these spending measures needed separate consideration.

The new speaker was met with resistance from both parties.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the plan “a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns.”

The easiest option to prevent a shutdown this week is to pass a continuing resolution, or CR, that would keep the government funded at current levels.

The House and Democratic-led Senate must agree on a spending vehicle that President Biden can sign into law by Friday, or risk a fourth partial government shutdown in a decade. The shutdown would close national parks, disrupt pay for as many as 4 million federal workers and disrupt activities ranging from financial oversight to scientific research.
Johnson, who took over Kevin McCarthy’s position less than three weeks ago, could put his own political future at risk if his current plan fails to win support for passage and he is forced to go with a standard CR that Democrats can accept.

The deadline to pass a plan is the end of the day on Friday, November 17.

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