US House speaker proposes two-step package to avoid partial govt shutdown

© Drew Angere, AFP

House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled his proposal on Saturday to avoid a partial government shutdown by extending government funding for some agencies and programs until Jan. 19 and continuing funding for others until Feb. 2.

The approach is unusual for a stopgap spending bill. Usually, lawmakers extend funding until a certain date for all programs. Johnson decided to go with the combination approach, addressing concerns from GOP lawmakers seeking to avoid being presented with a massive spending bill just before the holidays.

“This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories," Johnson said in a statement after speaking with GOP lawmakers in an afternoon conference call. “The bill will stop the absurd holiday-season omnibus tradition of massive, loaded up spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess."

The bill excludes funding requested by President Joe Biden for Israel, Ukraine and the U.S. border with Mexico. Johnson said separating Biden's request for an emergency supplemental bill from the temporary, stopgap measure “places our conference in the best position to fight for fiscal responsibility, oversight over Ukraine aid, and meaningful policy changes at our Southern border.”


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