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The White House and some Republicans pan Johnson's 2-part plan to avoid a shutdown

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.

The Biden administration and fellow Democrats are panning a proposal by House GOP leaders for a two-part government spending bill that would fund certain agencies through one date and other agencies through another.

On Saturday, House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled the plan — a highly unusual structure for a stopgap spending bill — and it quickly garnered opposition from both a handful of House Republicans and the White House.

"This proposal is just a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns—full stop," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The federal government will run out of money by the end of the day on Friday if no new deal is reached.

Johnson's temporary spending plan would extend funding for veterans programs, transportation, housing, agriculture and energy through Jan. 19, while spending for other agencies including the Defense Department and the State Department would be extended until Feb. 2.

"This two-step continuing resolution is a necessary bill to place House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative victories," Johnson said in a tweet. "The bill will stop the absurd holiday-season omnibus tradition of massive, loaded up spending bills introduced right before the Christmas recess."

The proposal leaves out funding the Biden administration requested for Israel, Ukraine and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Johnson's plan faces difficult prospects in Congress. House Republicans have a narrow majority, and some of the conference's more hardline members have already announced their opposition to the proposal.

Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, blasted Johnson's proposal on X, formerly known as Twitter, as "Pelosi level spending & policies for 75 days - for future 'promises,'" referring to former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The proposal's passage is also unlikely in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

White House officials told NPR that the Office of Management and Budget has already started warning federal agencies to prepare for a government shutdown.

The budget battle comes less than a month after Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, took the top post in the House GOP after the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]