The House is expected to vote this afternoon to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government open, putting Congress on a path to avert a shutdown and setting the stage for a broader funding fight in the new year.
If the House passes the bill, the Senate will next need to approve the measure. Government funding is currently set to expire at the end of the week on Friday, November 17.
In the first major test of his leadership, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson is pursuing an unusual two-step plan that would set up two new shutdown deadlines in January and February.
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What the bill would do: The bill would extend funding until January 19 for priorities including military construction, veterans’ affairs, transportation, housing and the Energy Department. The rest of the government — anything not covered by the first step — would be funded until February 2. The proposal does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.
The plan would give lawmakers more time to attempt to negotiate and pass full-year spending bills, though major partisan divisions would make that effort fraught and complicated. Johnson has argued that his plan would prevent Congress from passing a massive spending bill in December — a scenario that has played out many times before when lawmakers have faced a deadline right before the winter holidays.
Freedom Caucus opposes Johnson’s plan: The short-term funding plan has already resulted in backlash from some conservatives, a dynamic that will force House Republican leaders to turn to Democrats for votes to pass it as the GOP holds only a narrow majority in the chamber.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly 30 hardliners, has taken an official position against Johnson’s two-part government funding plan. This comes after Johnson met with the group last night, in hopes of assuaging their concerns over the bill, according to a source familiar.
A number of conservatives oppose the stopgap bill because it would not implement the deep spending cuts they have demanded. Instead, it would extend funding at current levels. As a result, it will need significant Democratic support to pass the House.
Republican leadership is bringing the bill to the House floor under a procedure known as suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
CNN’s Kristin Wilson, Annie Grayer and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.
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