House Republicans Advance Government Funding Bills After Week of Disarray
The House Republicans successfully passed a procedural hurdle on government funding after facing a week of confusion and multiple failed votes. On Tuesday night, lawmakers voted 216 to 212 to move forward with four appropriations bills, setting the stage for debates and a final vote later this week. The only dissenting Republican was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, who opposed allocating funds to Ukraine in two of the bills.
The Importance of Funding the Government
It is imperative that the House and Senate agree on a funding solution before September 30th, the end of fiscal year 2023, to avoid a partial government shutdown. Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed satisfaction with the bill’s passage and emphasized the need for a continuing resolution (CR), a temporary funding bill that would likely be voted on Friday, to ensure the government remains open during ongoing work.
House Republicans’ Strategy and Challenges
House Republicans aim to pressure President Biden’s administration on border security through their proposed CR. However, their current proposal, which includes an 8% reduction in government spending for 30 days and incorporates elements from Republicans’ border security bill, lacks support from the Democratic-held Senate.
The House and Senate also differ significantly on their respective appropriations bills for the next fiscal year. The Senate is working towards funding levels agreed upon by McCarthy and President Biden during debt limit negotiations, while the House is pursuing lower numbers.
In the face of these challenges, McCarthy faces resistance from members within his own conference, who oppose any form of CR due to their belief that it endorses the Democratic priorities of the previous Congress.
Uncertainties and Future Votes
Although the four appropriations bills advanced on Tuesday, it remains uncertain whether they will pass individual votes. McCarthy and his allies are attempting to pressure those opposing the bills, warning that refusing to support a CR with conservative priorities will give Democrats an advantage.
McCarthy affirmed that a vote on the CR will take place regardless of the outcome with the appropriations bills. The Senate’s CR, which preserves this year’s funding levels and includes additional funds for Ukraine aid and U.S. disaster relief, is still pending and McCarthy avoided commenting until it is passed.