Days from government shutdown, Speaker Johnson may need short-term spending bill he previously opposed
Days from government shutdown, Speaker Johnson may need short-term spending bill he previously opposed


Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., conducts a information convention that includes remarks by faculty college students about antisemitism on faculty campuses, within the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Senate Republicans repeatedly stated this week {that a} short-term spending bill may be essential to hold the government open, a harsh actuality for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who’s balancing a looming shutdown deadline with the calls for of hardline Republicans.

The final short-term spending bill Congress handed, in November, established a laddered schedule of funding deadlines, the primary on Jan. 19 and the opposite on Feb. 2. On Sunday, members of Congress reached an settlement on a topline spending bill, however nonetheless have to barter 4 separate appropriations payments by Jan. 19 to maintain the government open.

As the primary deadline approaches, members have expressed rising doubt on whether or not a shutdown may be averted with out one other persevering with decision, or CR.

“Time is so compressed and the deadline so quick that I’m afraid we’re taking a look at one other short-term persevering with decision,” stated Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in an interview Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Cornyn echoes Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who each stated this week {that a} stopgap funding measure is trying more and more inevitable.

Meanwhile, eyes are on Johnson to comply with via on the hardline Republican calls for he was elected to champion. If not, he may meet the identical destiny as his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was ousted partly for conceding to Democrats to keep away from a government shutdown.

Johnson stated he is planning to name former President Donald Trump on Wednesday to “speak him via the small print” of the funds negotiations.

“He and I’ve a really shut relationship,” Johnson stated Wednesday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” “He’s been an enthusiastic supporter of my management right here, and I anticipate he’ll be doing that once more.”

While following via on the hardline calls for would earn Johnson factors with some House Republicans, it makes negotiating with Democrats tougher, including time to funds talks that he doesn’t have.

Another CR could be a troublesome capsule to swallow for Johnson, who has pledged to interrupt the sample of funding the government by way of quick spurts as an alternative of a cohesive funds.

“I feel working by CRs and shutting down the government is a dereliction of obligation. I do not assume it is the best way it is presupposed to be carried out,” Johnson stated at a Wall Street Journal convention in December. “And what we’ll attempt to do within the coming 12 months is get us again to that course of that the legislation requires that we cannot be on this scenario once more.”

Congress left for the holiday season with many points unresolved, punting negotiations to 2024. As time dwindles, Johnson may be compelled to interrupt his no-CR promise.

To add to Johnson’s dilemmas, hardline House Republicans may not afford him the identical leeway as in November when he was just below a month into his speaker tenure and conceded spending cuts to Democrats to cross the short-term funding bill.

“For now, I’m happy that Speaker Johnson appears to be shifting in our course by advancing a CR that doesn’t embrace the extremely partisan cuts that Democrats have warned in opposition to,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated on the time.



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