The House of Representatives approved a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, though the resolution only keeps the government funded through January, setting the stage for another round of appropriations bills early next year.
The House voted 336-95 to approve the bill, with 93 Republicans and two Democrats voting against it, sending the two-step plan to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said he’s hopeful the bill would advance.
If approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the legislation would extend federal funding through January 19 for certain priorities, including Veterans Affairs, the Energy Department, housing, transportation and for military construction, and through February 2 for all other government operations.
The resolution does not include foreign aid to Israel or Ukraine.
Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced the plan last week after House Republicans pulled a set of appropriations votes, though far-right Republicans have expressed opposition to the stopgap measure, arguing it leaves out sweeping budget cuts demanded by the House Freedom Caucus, while White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre called out House Republicans for “wasting precious time with an unserious proposal.”
In the Senate, the bill also faces criticism, including from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who told CNN she would support an effort to stave off a shutdown, but cautioned the timeframe of the resolution could interfere with Congress’ ability to pass its budget bills for 2025.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who voted in favor of the bill, admitted on the House floor a “CR is not my preferred method of conducting business,” but said a “government shutdown right before the holidays does our nation no good,” adding the House needs more time to negotiate a set of appropriations bills with the Senate.
Johnson’s proposal came after House Republicans proposed a separate appropriations bill that included $14.3 billion in aid to Israel, using funding that had been directed to the Internal Revenue Service under President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The House passed the aid package earlier this month, though Senate Democrats have objected to the bill, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) calling it “woefully inadequate.”
The resolution faces opposition from the far-right House Freedom Caucus, which issued a statement Tuesday saying the bill “contains no spending reductions, no border security, and no single meaningful win for the American People.” Freedom Caucus members have been calling for sweeping spending cuts for months, including in January, when several of its members refused to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker unless he promised to cut spending and agree to a set of concessions. After the House approved its first continuing resolution on September 30, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a member of the Freedom Caucus, initiated a process to oust McCarthy, arguing under his leadership the House did not meet demands for spending cuts.
What To Watch For
The deadline for both chambers of Congress to pass 12 appropriations bills to keep the government funded is November 17, though that will be pushed back to next year if the Senate passes the stopgap bill and Biden signs it.
New Speaker Mike Johnson Pushes Government Funding Through January And Supports Ukraine Aid In First Meeting With Senate GOP (Forbes)
House Speaker Johnson Faces Same GOP Spending Showdown That Ousted McCarthy—As Government Shutdown Looms In 5 Days (Forbes)