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Speaker Mike Johnson Unveils ‘Two-Part’ Continuing Resolution To Avoid Government Shutdown

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On Saturday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) unveiled his plan to avoid a government shutdown as the deadline to pass a new resolution comes closer. 

Johnson revealed on a GOP member call that he has chosen to try and pass a “two-part” continuing resolution where appropriations bills will be extended into 2024, with some bills being extended to mid-January and the rest into February.

This new approach would extend the Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Energy and Water appropriations bills until Jan. 19 and the remaining bills until Feb. 2.

The idea behind the approach is that it would generate a sense of urgency, putting more pressure on Congress to pass individual appropriations bills during the time frame, thereby avoiding an omnibus or another continuing resolution. 

If the bill passes, Congress would focus on passing the first four appropriations bills before Jan. 19, then focus on passing the remaining bills before the February deadline.

There is, however, skepticism that the bill could pass, as the Senate is not a fan of the idea, and several House Republicans have expressed opposition to the idea.

Johnson is under pressure to keep the government operational while navigating the political minefield that led to the downfall of his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

McCarthy lost his position after passing a stop-gap bill which was perceived as a concession to Democratic spending plans and led to a small group of Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), voting alongside all Democrats to oust him.

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