The House is under new management but is operating under business as usual as it prepares to pass a continuing resolution (CR) that once again extends spending levels and policies pushed through by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in last December’s lame duck session.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is moving a laddered CR that extends current spending levels for Agriculture, Energy and Water, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD spending bills through January 19 with the remaining eight bills extended through February 2.
Government funding expires at midnight on Friday, November 17.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon to say he is “pleased” with Speaker Johnson for choosing not to pursue spending cuts or policy riders in the spending package, indicating he would support the approach.
“House Republicans have produced a responsible measure,” Schumer said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) followed Schumer on the floor expressing his support.
The Senate earlier had been planning a procedural vote for Monday night to ready shell legislation that will include the CR. That vote was shelved with the Schumer-led Senate warming to Johnson’s package.
The House is likely to send over its CR on Tuesday after a floor vote. However, Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole acknowledged Monday afternoon there are discussions of moving the CR through the House by suspension of the rules.
Under suspension, legislation needs the support of two thirds of the House — a higher bar for passage — but can advance much more quickly than by adhering to regular order and its accompanying parliamentary hurdles. Consideration of this approach suggests broad support from the House.
Yet Johnson is already taking heat for pushing a spending bill that requires help from Democrats for passage and punts a fight on Biden’s policies until next year.
In announcing his plan, Johnson said it was necessary to “place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories.” The House is continuing to consider individually the twelve appropriations bills.
However, many conservatives in the Republican conference disagree with the Speaker.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the Rules Committee, held a press conference Monday berating the CR as a missed opportunity to address Biden’s policies, particularly at the border, or to reduce spending.
“We got nothing,” Roy said.
Speaker Johnson “continues to perpetuate the very system my constituents sent me here to oppose,” he said. “They don’t want me to continue spending money we don’t have at $1.6 trillion spending levels, Pelosi’s spending levels, Pelosi’s spending policies and priorities.”
Roy was the most ardent House opponent of the lame duck omnibus which locked in the current spending that Johnson seeks to extend.
Other conservatives joining Roy in opposition include Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Tim Burchett (R-TN), and Andrew Clyde (R-GA).
While continuing spending spending set by Democrats, Johnson’s clean CR does not include the supplemental spending requested by the Biden White House that included billions in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan as well as a few billion for the border.
Yet that supplemental package was a heavy lift from the outset. Conservatives have increasingly soured on additional funding for Ukraine after authorizing over $100 billion since its war against Russia began. And many oppose Biden’s request for billions more to continue his border policies without significant changes.
While the House will continue considering individual appropriations bills – as well as dealing with a privileged resolution from Marjorie Taylor Greene to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and perhaps a House Ethics Committee report on its investigation into Rep. George Santos (R-NY) – it is expected to recess in time for a week of for Thanksgiving.
Roy insists that Republicans are wrong to once again delay the fight on important policies like the border by passing a CR, saying, “I don’t mind sitting here. I’ll eat my Thanksgiving dinner sitting right on the floor of the house…”
“I’d be happy to be here on Thanksgiving Day in order to fight to secure the border of the United States,” Roy concluded.
Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.