House Republicans Clash Over Going Days Before Shutdown Deadline | ET REALITY


At odds with each other on spending, House Republicans abruptly abandoned their legislative work Thursday, leaving Washington with little progress toward funding the government and no plan to avoid a shutdown next week.

President Mike Johnson, just two weeks into office, had yet to give any public indication of his plan to avoid a disruption in government spending, which is currently scheduled to occur next Friday at midnight if Congress does not act. . That effort would involve rallying deeply anti-spending Republicans around a stopgap funding bill that will likely be a dead letter in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Instead of unveiling a path forward to keep the government open, Johnson spent the week trying and failing to push through two individual spending bills that collapsed for lack of GOP support. It was yet another reflection of divisions among House Republicans that have made their slim majority ungovernable, prompting the ouster of their last speaker and so far confounding his far more conservative and less experienced successor.

“We have a lot of people who want to pass things only with Republicans,” said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the Rules Committee and ranking member of the Appropriations Committee. “That’s one thing when there are 240 or 250 votes. When there are 220 of them and you have so many individual personalities (and, to be fair, different interests and different districts), it is a risky game.”

House Republican leaders on Thursday abruptly canceled a vote on a spending bill to fund the Treasury Department and other financial agencies, the latest sign of deep divisions among Republicans over funding federal programs that have repeatedly brought Congress to the brink of economic chaos this year. .

Across the Capitol, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, took initial procedural steps to allow the Senate to move forward with its own stopgap spending measure if necessary, as time was running out to prevent a closure.

“I implore President Johnson and our House Republican colleagues to learn from the fiasco of a month ago,” Schumer said. “Far-right proposals, radical far-right cuts, far-right poison pills that have no support from Democrats will only make a shutdown more likely. I hope they don’t go down that path in the next week.”

It remains to be seen whether Johnson is willing to present a stopgap spending bill that Democrats can accept. That move ultimately doomed his predecessor as president, Kevin McCarthy, after it became clear that he could not pass a temporary funding measure — even one that involved deep spending cuts — with Republican votes alone.

Johnson is substantially to the right of McCarthy and so far appears determined not to rely on Democrats to pass a funding bill.

Cole said some hardline Conservatives told appropriators they would not support any kind of stopgap bill to avoid a shutdown, meaning Johnson ultimately may have no choice but to push through a bill with Democratic support. .

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, an influential conservative, said he would only support a stopgap spending bill with deep cuts and conservative policy priorities attached, legislation that could not survive in the Democratic-led Senate. “Certainly nothing like so-called clean RC,” he said, using the abbreviation for continuous resolution.

Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, who voted to unseat McCarthy, said he wanted to “give our new president every chance he can get.” But he noted that he had never before voted for an interim funding bill and was reluctant to do so for the first time.

“I just think we’re abdicating our duty,” he said. “We’re required to do two things: pass 12 appropriations bills and a budget, and for 30 years we haven’t done that.”

But Johnson’s efforts to pass 12 spending bills to fund the government have run into the same obstacles that McCarthy faced when he tried to push the bills forward. Republican leaders withdrew votes from both the Treasury Department bill and another to fund the Department of Transportation due to deep divisions within their ranks.

In particular, more traditional lawmakers have opposed the deep spending cuts and partisan policies included in the appropriations bills.

On Thursday, a bloc of them opposed the financial services bill because it contained a provision intended to undermine a 2014 Washington, D.C., law intended to protect employees from being discriminated against for seeking contraceptive or abortion services. A group of conservatives also opposed the bill because it did not include an amendment that the House rejected that prohibited using federal funds to purchase a new building for the FBI.

Moderates said it was inconceivable that Republicans would attach unrelated anti-abortion measures to spending bills just days after the party was defeated on the issue Tuesday in the off-year election.

“We’ll see next week what we actually do,” said Rep. John Duarte of California, who represents a district that President Biden won in 2020. “A lot of this will have to do with whether we can pass some clean appropriations bills and get Has your monkey business run out?

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