House Republicans are moving ahead with a plan to temporarily fund the government while beefing up border security – a proposal that is dead on arrival in the Senate and could even face difficulties in the House, raising the likelihood of a government shutdown at the end of the month.
A group of six Republican members – three from the conservative House Freedom Caucus and three from the centrist-leaning Main Street Caucus – worked through the weekend to finalize a tentative deal on a short-term spending plan that they hope will get buy-in from across the Republican conference.
The agreement, according to GOP sources familiar with the matter, would pair a 31-day continuing resolution with a House GOP-passed border security package, but without the bill’s provisions on E-Verify, a national immigration status database.
The short-term spending bill also would impose some spending cuts instead of keeping the government funded at current levels. While the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs would be maintained at funding levels, other agencies would face a roughly 8% cut.
The bill does not include the White House request for $40 billion in supplemental funding for natural disasters and the war in Ukraine, which Senate leaders in both parties want attached to any temporary funding bill.
The House GOP will have a conference call Sunday evening to discuss the plan.
The framework represents an agreement by two key corners of the GOP, but there is still no guarantee it would have the 218 votes needed to pass the House. Since all Democrats are likely to oppose the bill, that means Speaker Kevin McCarthy can afford to lose only a handful of Republicans – and at least three hardliners have already signaled they are against any short-term bill.
And even if House Republicans are able to pass the bill, it will certainly be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate, meaning Congress is no closer to avoiding a government shutdown.
But McCarthy is trying to move something across the finish line to fund the government that has Republican buy-in and doesn’t rely on Democratic votes, which could put his speakership at risk.
The short-term spending deal is also expected to pave the way for consideration of a long-term defense spending bill, which had to be pulled from the House floor last week as hardliners threatened to tank the plan because of broader concerns over spending.
The six negotiators for the tentative deal were Main Street Caucus Reps. Stephanie Bice, Dusty Johnson and Kelly Armstrong and Freedom Caucus Reps. Byron Donalds, Chip Roy and Scott Perry.