As the week winds down, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson steps into the spotlight with a critical task: preventing a government shutdown. The stakes are high, with the deadline just a week away.
The Republican Solution: A Two-Step Approach
Unveiling a unique Republican stopgap measure, Johnson’s plan isn’t your usual fix.
It proposes funding certain government parts until January 19 and others until February 2 and to pass the measure quickly.
Johnson’s Take: Positioning for Conservative Wins
Johnson, determined to steer the ship, declared, “This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories.”
What’s Missing? Aid Funds Absent
Notably, this stopgap doesn’t include supplemental funding, leaving out aid for key allies.
The Race Against Time
The House and Senate, led by Democrats, must find common ground quickly.
Without a spending agreement that President Joe Biden a shutdown looms.
White House Reaction: Calling It Unserious
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, didn’t mince words, labeling the proposal “just a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns.”
Moody’s Warning: A Credit Downgrade Looms
Adding to the pressure, Moody’s recently downgraded the U.S. credit outlook. Why? Political polarization overspending.
A Balancing Act
Johnson’s stopgap is a balancing act, aiming to appease hardliners wanting multiple end-dates and centrists desiring a ‘clean’ measure.
The Coverage: What’s Funded, What’s Not
The plan covers military construction, veterans benefits, and more until January 19. Other federal operations get a February 2 extension.
Bipartisan Criticism: Quick Opposition
Chip Roy from the House Freedom Caucus was quick to criticize, stating “My opposition to the clean (continuing resolution) just announced by the speaker … cannot be overstated.”
On the other side, Democrat Brian Schatz called the measure “super convoluted,” and that “all of this nonsense costs taxpayer money”.
Schatz is clear: “We are going to pass a clean short-term [resolution]. The only question is whether we do it stupidly and catastrophically or we do it like adults.”
This stopgap aims to provide extra time for lawmakers to pass full-scale appropriations bills by September 30.
The Fallout: McCarthy’s Ousting
Kevin McCarthy’s bipartisan approach to avert a shutdown on October 1 led to his removal by hardline Republicans, showcasing the party’s internal divisions.
The Final Countdown
With the clock ticking, it’s a race against time for Congress to avert a shutdown and address the nation’s fiscal health.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin