Speaker Mike Johnson Unveils ‘Two-Part’ Continuing Resolution to Prevent Government Shutdown

Last September, the House of Representatives passed a last-minute bill to keep the government funded for an additional 45 days, narrowly averting a government shutdown that would have commenced at 12:01 a.m. The bill, was spearheaded by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

With a 335-91 vote, the House approved a 45-day temporary funding measure that excludes border security and $6 billion funding for Ukraine.

The bill includes provisions for disaster relief funds that likely swayed some Democrats to vote in favor. 90 GOP NOs and 1 Dem NO.

On Saturday, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced a strategic plan to prevent a government shutdown after November 17. Johnson introduced a unique “two-part” continuing resolution. This plan, presented to GOP members over a call on Saturday, aims to extend multiple appropriations bills split into two timeframes: mid-January and early February.

“This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories. The bill will stop the absurd holiday-season omnibus tradition of massive, loaded up spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess,” Johnson said.

The unique feature of this approach is its segmented timeline: it extends the Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy and Water appropriations bills until January 19, while the remaining bills would be extended until February 2.

This resolution notably excludes aid to Ukraine and Israel and does not prolong FISA 702 authorities. However, it does extend the expired Farm Bill provisions through September 2024, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Separating out the CR from the supplemental funding debates places our conference in the best position to fight for fiscal responsibility, oversight over Ukraine aid, and meaningful policy changes at our Southern border. With our debt spiraling out of control, the rising costs of ‘Bidenomics’ hurting families, and our Southern border wide open, House Republicans must position ourselves best to fight for the American people,” he wrote.

Johnson’s strategy is designed to create urgency in passing individual appropriations bills within these set timelines, thus avoiding the need for another omnibus or continuing resolution.

Although this plan appears to provide a clean continuing resolution, it does run the risk of losing some conservative support, as already demonstrated by opposition from Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

“My opposition to the clean CR just announced by the Speaker to the House GOP cannot be overstated. Funding Pelosi level spending & policies for 75 days – for future “promises,” Roy tweeted.

“It’s a 100% clean. And I 100% oppose,” Roy said, adding, “The fact it doesn’t isolate DHS & DOJ & instead isolates 3 bills that’ll don’t have the votes from GOP anyway is beyond crazy.”

Rep. Greene also said she will not vote on the continuing resolution.

“I voted NO to both CRs before and I’m voting NO to this clean CR. We need to finish approps and the Senate needs to do their job. NO MONEY TO UKRAINE! CLOSE THE BORDER! STOP THE WEAPONIZED GOVERNMENT! IMPEACH BIDEN, MAYORKAS, WRAY, GARLAND, AND GRAVES!” she wrote.

Johnson warned that if this plan fails due to lack of support from Democrats and the Senate, he would abandon short-term resolutions in favor of a year-long measure. This measure would include an 8% reduction in all non-defense spending, amounting to approximately $40 billion in cuts, while defense spending would remain largely unaffected.

“If you can’t get the final bills finished under this timeline, with good conservative wins, then we’re just going to go with the most painful version of a full year CR, that will result in large across-the-board non-defense cuts,” Johnson said.

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