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Tags: house | mike johnson | senate | mitch mcconnell | government | shutdown | legislation

Government Funding Testing McConnell, House Speaker

By    |   Monday, 13 November 2023 10:56 AM EST

The working relationship between House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will be tested this week as a government shutdown looms.

The House and Democrat-led Senate must agree on spending legislation that President Joe Biden can sign into law by Friday, or risk a fourth partial government shutdown in a decade.

Johnson on Saturday unveiled a Republican stopgap spending measure aimed at averting a government shutdown.

The speaker's proposal would extend funding for parts of the government through Jan. 19 and other federal programs until Feb. 2. The intention is to buy time for lawmakers to negotiate 12 full-year spending bills.

There was some initial criticism in the House GOP conference concerning Johnson's plan. However, if the speaker can get the measure through the chamber, McConnell will come under pressure from Senate conservatives to support the bill.

"We should be supporting him [Johnson] and not undermining him," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said.

Johnson's measure does not include funding for Ukraine and Israel – something McConnell and other senior Senate Republicans have identified as urgent national security priorities.

One Republican senator said McConnell now faces a tough leadership test, The Hill reported Monday.

McConnell could try to strike a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on a funding stopgap that would extend all government funding until mid-December and reject Johnson's plan.

"Will he try for a deal [with Schumer]? Probably. Is this a test of leadership? Yeah. Will he be able to bring the conference along?" the GOP senator said, The Hill reported.

A bipartisan deal approved by the Senate would put pressure on Johnson to bring it to the House floor, where it probably would pass with a bipartisan majority.

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Susan Collins, R-Maine, met with the speaker on Wednesday. She expressed skepticism about Johnson's "laddered" approach to funding the government.

"I have a lot of reservations. I don't see how that would work, and it seems unnecessarily complex," said Collins, who usually is aligned closely with McConnell on spending strategy.

"How would you choose which programs terminate at which time? You'd have to go through the threat of shutdowns of part of government over and over again. It doesn't seem to me to make a lot of sense."

Some Republican senators said they would prefer to extend government funding only until mid-December. That would allow for lawmakers to agree on annual funding bills before the start of a new year.

"I'd like to get the work done now," Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said before adding that he'd like to pass funding for Israel and Ukraine "as soon as possible."

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The working relationship between House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will be tested this week as a government shutdown looms.
house, mike johnson, senate, mitch mcconnell, government, shutdown, legislation, funding
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2023-56-13
Monday, 13 November 2023 10:56 AM
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