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The United States Capitol in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2023.
House Republicans are moving forward with a plan to temporarily fund the government while bolstering border security, a proposal that did not make it to 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 Main Street Caucus) worked over the weekend to finalize a tentative agreement on a short-term spending plan that they hope will win conference-wide buy-in. Republican.
The agreement, according to Republican sources familiar with the matter, would combine a 31-day continuing resolution with a GOP-approved border security package, but without the bill’s provisions on E-Verify, a national database on the migratory status.
The short-term spending bill would also impose some spending cuts rather than keep the government funded at current levels. While the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs would remain at their funding levels, other agencies would face a cut of approximately 8%.
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 from both parties want to be attached to any temporary funding bill.
The GOP will have a conference call Sunday night to discuss the plan.
The framework represents an agreement between two key sectors of the Republican Party, but there is still no guarantee that it will have the 218 votes necessary to pass the House. With all Democrats 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 it. of any bill in the short term.
And even if House Republicans manage 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 get something across the finish line to fund the government that has Republican support and is not dependent on Democratic votes, which could put his speaker 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spending deal is also expected to pave the way for consideration of a long-term defense spending bill, which had to be withdrawn from the House last week when hardliners threatened to ruin the plan due to broader concerns about spending.
The six negotiators for the tentative agreement were Main Street Caucus representatives Stephanie Bice, Dusty Johnson and Kelly Armstrong and Freedom Caucus representatives Byron Donalds, Chip Roy and Scott Perry.