© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) delivers remarks on the outer steps of the House of Representatives after he was elected to be the brand new Speaker on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Nathan How
By David Morgan and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson will courageous opposition from fellow Republicans and depend on Democratic votes on Tuesday in a dangerous tactic to avert a authorities shutdown.
The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote at 4:20 pm (2120 GMT) on a stopgap spending invoice that may lengthen authorities funding past Nov. 17, when it is because of run out.
Facing opposition from some right-wing Republicans, Johnson has opted to deliver the invoice up immediately for a vote on the House ground. That permits him to keep away from a possible procedural roadblock, however requires a two-thirds vote for passage — that means Democratic help might be wanted.
“Getting us beyond the shutdown and making sure that government stays in operation is a matter of conscience for all of us,” he advised a press convention.
To avert a fourth shutdown in a decade, the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate should agree on spending laws that President Joe Biden can signal into regulation earlier than present funding for federal businesses expires on Friday.
Democrats within the House and Senate have provided tentative help for Johnson’s plan, saying they’re happy that the laws doesn’t seem to incorporate controversial insurance policies on abortion or different hot-button social points.
But the invoice lacks the steep spending cuts and border-security measures that many Republicans have sought. Representative Kevin Hern, who heads a gaggle of conservative Republicans, estimated 30 to 40 of them may vote towards it.
Other Republicans stated they’d help it.
“I think the greater problem comes with a shutdown,” stated Representative Drew Ferguson.
Congress is in its third fiscal standoff this yr, following a months-long spring deadlock over the more-than-$31 trillion in U.S. debt, which introduced the federal authorities to the brink of default.
The ongoing partisan gridlock led Moody’s (NYSE:) on Friday to decrease its credit standing outlook on the U.S. to “negative” from “stable,” because it famous that top rates of interest would proceed to drive borrowing prices increased.
Johnson had little senior congressional management expertise earlier than being chosen speaker lower than three weeks in the past.
With a slim 221-213 majority, he can afford to lose not more than three social gathering votes on laws that Democrats oppose.
“When you have a small majority, it requires some things are going to have to be bipartisan,” Johnson stated.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stated he hoped the House would move the invoice and ship it to his chamber, the place he stated he was working with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to maneuver it as shortly as attainable.
“If this can avoid a shutdown it would be a good thing,” he advised a press convention.
Johnson’s invoice would lengthen funding for army development, veterans advantages, transportation, housing, city growth, agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and vitality and water packages by means of Jan. 19. Funding for all different federal operations – together with protection – would expire on Feb. 2.
Johnson’s political technique echoes the method taken by his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, who relied on Democratic votes to move a stopgap spending invoice on Oct 1. That angered some Republicans, who pressured him out of his job a number of days later.
Republicans say the brand new speaker is unlikely to endure the identical destiny as McCarthy. But hardliners have been fast to see the parallel.
“Here we are. We’re doing the same thing,” Representative Chip Roy advised reporters.