House Republicans have voted to initiate discussions on a suite of spending bills, hoping to prevent a government shutdown by the end of the week. The rule was approved by a 216-212 vote, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene being the lone Republican to vote against it. Despite the progress, a shutdown on Sunday remains a real threat due to differences between the GOP-led House and the Democratic-led Senate regarding funding levels and Ukraine’s support.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is optimistic that if he can garner support for four partisan appropriations bills this week, it will strengthen the Republicans’ bargaining position with the Democrats and the White House. The proposed bills are intended to fund the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, as well as the State Department and foreign operations. In compliance with House conservatives’ demands, these bills aim to reduce billions of dollars despite a bipartisan debt and spending agreement earlier this year between McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
McCarthy plans to propose a temporary funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, to the floor this week. This development follows a series of setbacks for the Republicans, including two failed attempts to approve a procedural motion regarding government spending levels. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) warned that the looming shutdown could potentially threaten the political future of key advocates like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Greene if they continue to oppose the spending bills. The Senate also introduced its own continuing resolution, which does not include steep cuts the House GOP wants and does include roughly $6 billion for Ukraine that many Republicans oppose.