House Speaker Mike Johnson is surrounded by his security detail and pursued by reporters as he walks to his office at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 13, 2023. | Francis Chung/POLITICO
Congressional leaders will move next week to pass a two-tiered stopgap into March, with six days left until the first of two government shutdown deadlines.
The new funding patch would keep federal agencies running on two different timeframes, like the current stopgap. Funding for some federal agencies would expire March 1, while funding for others would run through March 8, according to a source familiar with the proposal.
Speaker Mike Johnson is backing the plan, which is necessary to finish a slate of 12 spending bills for the current fiscal year, after he previously rejected the notion of another short-term funding extension. Johnson is expected to brief the GOP conference on Sunday night.
The second “laddered” approach will almost certainly require hefty Democratic support to pass the House, while conservatives fume at the Louisiana Republican for cutting a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a government funding framework for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
Johnson said Friday that he is committed to sticking to that framework, despite a push from Republican hardliners to abandon the deal in favor of a more conservative proposal that would be doomed in the Senate.
The fiscal 2024 framework negotiated by Johnson and Schumer largely adheres to the budget totals set by the debt limit deal cut by President Joe Biden and former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last summer, setting defense funding at $886 billion and non-defense funding at nearly $773 billion.