U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, introduced a two-step stopgap spending plan on November 11, 2023, aiming to prevent a government shutdown. This unconventional proposal segments funding into two parts: some federal government areas funded until January 19 and others until February 2. Scheduled for a House vote on Tuesday, the plan notably omits supplemental funding such as aid for Israel or Ukraine.

The approach attempts to address conflicting demands within the Republican Party, balancing hardliner preferences for multiple end-dates against centrists’ calls for a ‘clean’ stopgap devoid of spending cuts or conservative policy amendments. Despite this, the plan has encountered criticism from both parties. Representative Chip Roy, a hardline Republican, openly opposed it for lacking spending cuts. Similarly, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz criticized the complexity of the plan, advocating for a straightforward short-term CR.

The measure’s success is vital to prevent a partial government shutdown that could disrupt various federal operations, from national parks to scientific research. The Republican-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate face a deadline until Friday to enact this temporary funding legislation, with President Joe Biden’s approval required to make it law. However, the proposal’s atypical structure, driven by internal Republican divisions and the looming threat of a shutdown, has raised concerns about its viability and potential impact on reaching a bipartisan agreement​.

Primary Sources: UPI, Reuters

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