The House is expected to vote this afternoon to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government open, putting Congress on track to avoid a shutdown and setting the stage for a broader fiscal fight in the new year.
If the House passes the bill, the Senate must approve the next step. Government funding currently expires at the end of the week on Friday 17 November.
In the first major test of his leadership, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson is pursuing an unusual two-step plan to set two new shutdown deadlines in January and February.
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What the bill will do: The bill provides funding through Jan. 19 for priorities including military construction, veterans affairs, transportation, housing and the energy sector. The rest of the government — anything not covered in the first step — will remain funded until February 2. The program does not include additional aid to Israel or Ukraine.
The plan would give lawmakers more time to negotiate and pass a full year’s worth of spending bills, though large partisan divisions could make that effort fraught and complicated. Johnson argued that his plan would prevent Congress from passing a massive spending bill in December — a scenario played out several times when lawmakers faced deadlines before the winter recess.
The Freedom Caucus opposes Johnson’s plan: The short-term funding plan has already drawn backlash from some conservatives, forcing House Republican leaders to turn to Democrats as the GOP holds only a slim majority.
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 allaying their concerns about the bill, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Many conservatives oppose the stopcap bill because it doesn’t implement the deep spending cuts they’ve called for. Instead, it will extend funding at current levels. As a result, the House will need substantial Democratic support to pass.
Republican leadership is bringing the bill to the House floor under a procedure called suspension, which requires a two-thirds majority vote.
Read more about the bill.
CNN’s Kristin Wilson, Annie Grayer and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.