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"Close To A Deal Or It's About To Blow Up": Speaker Johnson Enters McCarthy Territory As March Deadline Looms

"Close To A Deal Or It's About To Blow Up": Speaker Johnson Enters McCarthy Territory As March Deadline Looms

While House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) last week told reporters "We think we're going to meet the deadlines" to avert a government shutdown, House Republicans are preparing for the worst closed doors, Axios reports.

"People are predicting a shutdown even if it's just for a few days," one GOP lawmaker told the outlet, which notes that the government will start a two-phased government shutdown unless a budget or spending stopgap is passed by March 1.

They're either "close to reaching a deal or it's about to blow up," one subcommittee chair recently told a fellow House Republican.

Meanwhile, if a new budget isn't agreed upon by April 30, it will trigger a 1% across-the-board spending cut - meaning that even if a stopgap is reached, Democrats won't back anything past that date (since across-the-board cuts would be "A-OK for some House conservatives").

Johnson will have to either stage a fight with Democrats that threatens a shutdown, or work with Democrats to help pass a stopgap - exactly the move that resulted in Johnson's predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, being ousted from his role.

  • Johnson's simple but risky option to avoid a shutdown would be to use Democratic votes to pass a deal with a two-thirds majority.

  • But McCarthy's ouster in October was sparked by him working with Democrats on a spending stopgap.

  • "It's going to be difficult to do what we need to do and not have someone do" a motion to vacate, a member who isn't supportive of removing Johnson told Axios. -Axios

That said, Republicans have no plans for what to do if they oust Johnson and make yet another competition for Speaker the central focus going into May.

The report comes months after Congress kicked the can down the road with an 87-11 vote to back a temporary funding package.

Meanwhile, the House - which is on recess, isn't scheduled to return until Feb. 28, just days before the March 1 partial shutdown is set to trigger. If there isn't a plan by March 8, a full shutdown will occur.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 02/21/2024 - 13:20