Nov 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Speaker Mike Johnson unveils plan to avoid government shutdown

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is planning to take up a pair of stopgap bills to avert a looming government shutdown, two lawmakers told Axios on Saturday.

Why it matters: The two-tiered approach is expected to face an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate and has created confusion among House Republicans about how it would work.

Johnson told members during a Saturday call that it would be "a two step CR," a GOP member told Axios.

  • The first bill would provide funding until Jan. 19 and include appropriations for agriculture, military construction and Veterans Affairs, energy and water.
  • The second bill would last until Feb. 2 and include the other appropriations bills.
  • "The bill will stop the absurd holiday-season omnibus tradition of massive, loaded up spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess," Johnson said in a statement on Saturday.

Between the line: The Louisiana Republican told members that a full-year stopgap is the backup plan if the two-tiered approach fails.

  • Israel funding is not currently expected to be attached to the must-pass stopgaps.

The bottom line: The current stopgap bill expires this week.

  • Johnson said after becoming speaker late last month that his first priority would be to avert a shutdown.
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