House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are facing a major obstacle as they navigate through a looming government shutdown. They are pushing for a continuing resolution (CR), but hard-line conservatives are already causing pushback, making the passage of the bill an uphill battle.
Johnson’s “two-part” CR plan, announced on Saturday, aims to extend several appropriations bills until specific dates and includes an extension of the expired Farm Bill provisions through September 2024. However, the bill does not include aid to Ukraine or Israel and does not provide for an extension to FISA 702 authorities. This has raised concerns among some conservatives who are eager to prioritize national security and foreign aid.
The plan is likely to receive Democratic support, but the real challenge lies in garnering enough Republican votes to prevent a government shutdown. Six House Republicans have already voiced their opposition to the CR, further complicating Johnson’s efforts. It’s a high-stakes test for Johnson’s leadership, with the fate of the CR hanging in the balance.
The division within the GOP conference has already hindered the passage of two appropriations bills, setting the stage for a tense battle within the party. Even if the CR were to pass the House, it could face opposition from Senate Republicans, particularly McConnell, who has emphasized the urgency of providing aid to Israel and Ukraine for national security reasons.
The pressure is on McConnell and Johnson to unite their respective conferences and find a bill that can pass both chambers of Congress before the looming deadline. However, the negotiations are fraught with challenges, as different priorities and approaches to funding create a contentious atmosphere within the Republican party.
McConnell will face a crucial test of his leadership, as he navigates through the demands of GOP senators and potential pressure to support Johnson’s CR. The looming government shutdown adds a layer of intensity to the negotiations, with the fate of critical funding and national security aid hanging in the balance.
In this high-stakes political showdown, the future of government funding and critical foreign aid rests on the ability of conservative leadership to navigate through internal divisions and unite in the face of adversity.