Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his allies on Sunday began a sales pitch for a short-term spending plan loaded with conservative priorities like funding cuts and stricter border policies.
It’s unclear that the proposal could pass the House, given the GOP’s thin majority. And even if Republicans can muscle it through that chamber, it would do little to avert a shutdown looming just two weeks away.
GOP leaders told their members on a private call Sunday night that they hope to bring the plan to the floor Thursday, according to multiple people listening. The bill, which would punt the next funding deadline to Oct. 31, was drafted over the last few days by a coalition of hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus and more centrist members in the Main Street Caucus.
The deal includes across-the-board cuts to domestic spending bills — exempting defense and veterans spending, as well as disaster aid. It would also pave the way for Republicans to pass a standalone, full-year defense spending bill, which a band of ultraconservatives has blocked for days. That vote would now happen on Wednesday, leadership said on the call.
Perhaps the biggest sweetener in the GOP’s plan is to include the party’s marquee border policy bill, known as H.R. 2 — without a contentious provision related to making “e-verify” mandatory.
Some House Republicans are unclear on which agencies are getting bigger cuts in this deal. Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) raised the matter on a call, but didn’t receive a direct answer.
McCarthy’s latest maneuver is intended to unite the highly fractured House GOP as the Sept. 30 shutdown deadline ticks closer, after near-constant struggles to pass spending bills. It stands no chance, however, in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
There are already warning signs that it could fail to even pass the House. Within hours of the plan’s reveal, a half-dozen conservatives — including Reps. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Cory Mills (R-Fla.), Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — signaled they may not vote for it.
“No CR. Pass the damn approps bills,” Bishop tweeted.