U.S. House Republicans Considering Stopgap Spending Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown
Garret Graves, a US Republican congressman and ally of House Speaker McCarthy, has revealed that the Republican Party is exploring the implementation of a stopgap spending bill that would last between 14 to 60 days. With just seven days remaining until government funds run out, House Republicans plan to introduce four funding bills next week. However, in order to prevent a government shutdown, lawmakers will need to pass a short-term measure.
Earlier proposals put forward by mainstream Republican lawmakers included a 31-day expedient spending plan that included domestic spending cuts and a more conservative border bill. However, this plan was met with opposition from far-right members such as Matt Gaetz. As a result, House Republicans are now under pressure to quickly draft a new continuing resolution that can attract enough support.
Revised stopgap spending measures are currently being discussed, including a temporary 27% reduction in domestic spending (compared to the original 8% cut), a House immigration and border security bill, and the establishment of a debt committee to assess welfare spending cuts. However, the opportunity to negotiate with the White House and President Biden on these issues is decreasing as the fiscal year comes to a close.
Representative Garret Graves from Louisiana warned, “As we get closer to the end of the fiscal year, the opportunity or leverage to ask the White House and President Biden to compromise on these issues is waning. I think this is a very big mistake.” Despite the possibility of McCarthy convincing hardliners to pass the bill in the House, it is unlikely to receive approval in the Senate. House Republicans view the stopgap spending bill as a starting point for negotiations that aim to push for spending cuts in the Senate.
However, Graves expressed frustration towards dissenting members such as Gaetz, who have previously blocked government funding packages and voiced opposition to any continuing resolution. With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House, opposition from a small group of dissidents could undermine McCarthy’s chances of passing a stopgap measure.
Time is of the essence, as the House is scheduled to return on Tuesday to debate year-round funding bills for various departments including State, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Defense. This leaves very little time for the passage of stopgap spending bills, which must be approved by Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is also working on its own bipartisan stopgap spending bill, which could be unveiled as early as Tuesday.
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