(Bloomberg) -- Republicans are eyeing a stopgap government funding measure that would range from 14 to 60 days, according to Representative Garret Graves, an ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
House Republicans are moving forward on four appropriations bills next week, but with just seven days left until government funding runs out, lawmakers will need to pass a short-term measure to avoid a shutdown.
Mainstream Republicans proposed a 31-day continuing resolution that would cut domestic spending and include a conservative border bill, but far-right holdouts such as Representative Matt Gaetz opposed the measure.
Now, House Republicans are racing to draft a new continuing resolution that can get enough support within their conference to pass this week.
The revised stopgap under discussion would cut domestic spending temporarily by 27%, compared to 8% in the initial one, lawmakers said. It would include a House immigration and border security bill and set up a debt commission to study entitlement cuts.
“Every day we get closer to the end of the fiscal year, the opportunities or the leverage to force this White House, to force President Biden, to cave on those issues is waning,” Graves, a Louisiana Republican, told reporters on Saturday. “I think it’s a huge mistake.”
Even if McCarthy can convince holdouts to go along, such a proposal would be dead on arrival in the Senate. House Republicans are viewing the stopgap as a starting point in negotiations to push the Senate to lower spending.
Graves expressed frustration with Gaetz and other holdouts who froze the House floor last week and have pledged to oppose any continuing resolution. Republicans’ narrow House majority means that a small group of dissidents can ruin McCarthy’s chances of getting a stopgap measure passed.
The House plans to return Tuesday and spend days debating full year funding bills for the State, Agriculture, Homeland Security and Defense departments. The plan leaves little time to turn to the stopgap needed before Saturday night.
The Senate is working on its own bipartisan stopgap bill that could be unveiled as soon as Tuesday.
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