House Republicans Advance Stopgap Bill, But Government Shutdown Still Looms

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Measure Faces Opposition from Hard-Line Republicans and Senate Democrats

House Republicans advanced a GOP-crafted stopgap bill Friday to avoid a government shutdown, but the legislation faces opposition from hard-line Republicans and Senate Democrats.

The chamber voted 218-210 along party lines to kick off debate on the continuing resolution (CR) and tee up a final vote expected Friday afternoon.

The successful procedural vote marks an incremental win for Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has worked to coalesce his conference around a short-term funding patch in order to increase the conference’s leverage in funding negotiations with Democrats in the Senate and the White House.

McCarthy, however, is not in the clear just yet as a number of conservatives line up against the bill.

At least eight House Republicans have said they are against or leaning against the stopgap bill, with some saying they will not support a continuing resolution under any circumstances. With Democrats opposed to the legislation, McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of Republicans in the slim GOP majority.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the eight, said he voted in favor of the rule “so I can vote against this bad CR” and that the bill “does not have the votes to pass.”

Even if House Republicans do get their stopgap bill over the finish line, a shutdown Saturday night still appears increasingly inevitable. The legislation will not move in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House issued a veto threat for the bill Friday morning.

The House GOP’s stopgap bill, which leaders released Friday morning, would extend funding until Oct. 31 while imposing across-the-board cuts of roughly 30 percent, with exceptions for national defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and funding for disaster relief. It also includes a large part of the conference’s marquee border bill, H.R. 2, which would boost border wall construction, the hiring of border agents and restrict access to asylum, among other provisions.

Additionally, the legislation calls for the creation of a fiscal commission to recognize solutions to attain what was dubbed a “sustainable debt-to-GDP ratio” and to balance the federal budget.

The Senate, alternatively, is moving ahead with a bipartisan continuing resolution that will not move in the House. McCarthy told his members earlier this week that he will not bring the measure to the floor. A number of conservatives have voiced concerns about Ukraine aid in the bill and the lack of border security provisions.

Votes on rules — which govern debate for legislation — are typically party-line and predictable efforts, with the majority party supporting the vote and the minority party opposing it. It is exceedingly rare to see them voted down on the floor. Last week, however, conservatives tanked two rules over demands for steeper spending cuts and top-line numbers for the appropriations process.

Source: The Hill

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