House GOP leaders want to remove threat of shutdown
December 3rd, 2013
07:11 PM ET
12 months ago

House GOP leaders want to remove threat of shutdown

Washington (CNN) - House Republican leaders would offer a short-term spending bill to remove any threat of a government shutdown in January if congressional budget negotiators fail to reach a deal before lawmakers recess for the holidays, multiple sources said.

Several House GOP members told leaders at a weekly closed-door meeting on Tuesday they are worried about going home at end of next week with a January 15 deadline looming for Congress to approve another government spending bill.


The current spending blueprint was approved in late October after a three-week federal shutdown the public largely blamed on Republicans.

Many rank-and-file GOP members now fear a new backlash from voters if they don't take steps to show they won't repeat that episode, an argument Republican leaders were sympathetic to addressing.

"I think the House should act on that – that provides stability. The more we can act early, I think the better it is," Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Lankford, a member of GOP leadership, told reporters.

One Republican source who attended the weekly meeting told CNN that House Speaker John Boehner's "personal preference" is to consider a proposal next week. But no decision has been made about the timing of any vote.

Another senior House Republican leadership aide said pressure from members to avoid complaints from constituents during the holiday break makes a vote next week "highly possible."

House Republican leaders informed members they would work on a catch-all spending bill - called a continuing resolution or "CR" - that maintains annual spending at levels set down in a 2011 congressionally approved budget agreement – $967 billion.

But they have not decided if another temporary measure would last for one or two months or another timeframe.

Not all House Republicans think a short term bill is needed.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said he'll get to work on an omnibus spending bill for all agencies as soon as House/Senate budget negotiations settle on proposed funding levels, which he believes will occur before a December 13 deadline to do so.

Democrats are already panning the idea of another short-term measure, and the spending level suggested by House Republicans.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is part of the budget talks as a member of a House/Senate conference committee, called another CR "simply an indication that the House is totally dysfunctional."

He said members shouldn't leave for the year until a budget deal is passed that addresses deep, government-wide spending cuts under the so-called sequester.

Democrats are also pushing for any budget deal to extend unemployment insurance, which is scheduled to expire on December 28, ending benefits for over a million jobless Americans.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Larry in Austin

    I see big changes coming to our government. It might take a few election cycles, but it will happen. Corporations/government are starting to point fingers at each other even though they are pretty much the same animal.

    December 3, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Translation: House GOP leaders are afraid, very afraid. And with their record, they should be.

    December 3, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Floyd from Illinois

    Yeah yeah, we heard it last time, too, and they still drove us over the cliff. Boehner swore there would be no shutdown and then, as soon as his teabaggers got to him, reversed himself. Republicans are not to be trusted.

    December 3, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. simplefaith

    Voters please do not vote the same gridlock Republicans back into office in 2014. They can't even work together to pass a decent budget for our country. Sickening. These Congressmen are being paid a lot of money to sit and do nothing all day, but try to hold the President's policies hostage. At least President Obama tries to introduce legislation to help us. What did the Republicans do the past five years besides holding back bills and not taking votes on them?

    December 3, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. FrankinSD

    I wonder whether enough Democrats in the House would vote against a short CR that the Republican votes lost to Tea Party obstruction would mean that no CR could pass? That would put the Speaker in a fine mess. He might have to give the Democrats some of what they want and pass a CR with them plus what ever's left of the moderate Republicans.

    December 3, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    "Many rank-and-file GOP members now fear a new backlash from voters if they don't take steps to show they won't repeat that episode, an argument Republican leaders were sympathetic to addressing."

    GOP translator: Who cares if our actions may harm our economy, our nation and her people; as long as it doesn't affect whether folks vote for us!

    GOP = Party Uber Alles

    December 3, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. amazed

    Why no shut down repeat? You clowns only cost the nation 15 billion dollars for what worked out so well last time. Where's the problem?

    December 3, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Skarphace

    How about this: if no deal is reached in time, the very first action that should be taken is that both the Congress and the Presidential administration lose their salaries and perks until a deal is reached. How long do you think the shutdown would last then? Do you think we wouild ever have a federal shutdown again?

    December 3, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. KG

    So what exactly do our politicians in Washington do besides position themselves for the next election cycle?

    December 3, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. Guest

    Guess they finally figured out a shutdown was the biggest gift they could have given the Dems this year as the ACA rollout continues. I hear that website is a massive success now though, so it has that going for it, which is nice.

    December 3, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Jonathon Powelly

    Did you hear that? Yes, Virginia it was the House kicking the can down the road.

    December 3, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. betterdays

    Why have we had CR after CR, year after year for the past five years? I don't think it's solely due to votes in the House.

    December 3, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. James Napoli

    Republicans have no long term policy ideas on any issue. They are the stewards of the worst Congress in the history of the USA. The Tea Party are intent on obstruction and have done nothing constructive. Their signature moment is a government shutdown the costthe economy $24 billion. It demonstrates the other lack of leadership and any positive vision for the country.

    December 4, 2013 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  14. Minnie Mouse

    Start meeting all of your deadlines and stop procrastinating on everything then we won't have government shut downs. There would never be concerns for threats of a government shutdown. It's not like you don't get plenty of notice of what's going on in the government that's essential before everyone heads off for the holiday. What a sad deal it would be if everyone choses to bail out again on the country and leave people hanging.

    I don't think anyone should get to leave until your job is done, Even though the holiday isn't about money, we do need it for every day survival. Please don't leave with millions starting the year off by losing unemployment benefits. Take action and do something now before it's to late for our people again.

    December 4, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  15. current state of the union

    Poor Donna, NY turned Democratic too honey, your screwed, look at this article for example, just dont learn,: its comical that they say they didnt cause the shutdown, they passed a law that would make that happen, and your polls are meant to con fools like you, Romney in a landslide, halarious!

    December 4, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |