House GOP leaders are pushing a new proposal that would prevent a government shutdown later this month, but opposition in the Senate and even in the Republican Conference threatens chances of passage.
The plan, unveiled Sunday night, would push the Sept. 30 shutdown deadline by another month, buying time for negotiators in both chambers to hash out a larger deal on how to fund the government for most of next year.
But it comes with a host of sweeteners designed to attract support from conservatives while laying the groundwork for a potential clash with Democrats in the upper chamber — if the House GOP can pass it.
A dozen conservatives have already said they are planning to vote “no” or leaning that way. In the narrow House GOP majority, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can lose only a handful of Republican votes.
Here’s a rundown of what’s in the latest agreement:
Extends shutdown deadline by a month
Lawmakers have until the end of the month to pass legislation to prevent what could be the first government shutdown in years.
Under the new GOP proposal, that deadline would be extended through the end of October. That means a shutdown would still be possible on Nov. 1, but lawmakers would have another month to work out a deal on government funding for fiscal 2024 or another short-term funding patch, also known as a continuing resolution (CR).
The proposed timeline in the new offer — worked out between the hardline House Freedom Caucus and Main Street Caucus, which members describe as “pragmatic conservative” — comes as leaders in the Senate have been eyeing a longer CR that would push the shutdown deadline into December.
The bill would trim discretionary spending by roughly 8 percent while shielding funds for Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and disaster relief.
Conservatives have criticized the budget caps set in the debt ceiling deal brokered by McCarthy and President Biden, saying keeping funding at fiscal 2023 levels doesn’t go far enough in tackling the nation’s debt.
A number of House Republicans have also scoffed at the idea of a “clean” CR that would keep government funding at the levels last hashed out when Democrats held control of both chambers.
But that doesn’t mean the bill, with the spending cuts included, faces easy odds in the House, as multiple conservatives have come out against the measure.
“A CR is a continuation of Nancy Pelosi’s budget and Joe Biden’s policies. We were assured in January that we weren’t going to use the Democrats’ gimmicks to fund government and that we would deliver the 12 appropriations bills, thereby funding government responsibly and transparently, which is why I will be voting against the CR this week,” Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Also included in the stopgap funding bill is most of H.R. 2, Republicans’s signature border bill, also dubbed the “Secure the Border Act of 2023.”
The bill pushes to restart construction of the southern border wall, restrict access to asylum, boost hiring of border agents, among other measures.
However, missing from the CR proposal are provisions in the border bill requiring E-Verify.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a key conservative, lauded the proposal on X on Monday, saying it would “force [the] strongest border security ever.”