House GOP to vote on two-week spending stopgap

House GOP leaders this morning decided to hold tight for now on their plan to fund the government until Dec. 22, to the chagrin of fiscal hardliners pushing for a Dec. 30 deadline.

In a closed-door Republican Conference meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan made the case for the pre-Christmas vote, according to lawmakers in the room. And House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) says his panel will take up the two-week spending patch this afternoon, as planned, with a floor vote expected Wednesday.

Government funding expires on Friday. House Republicans plan on a stopgap spending bill, though it’s still unclear if there will be the Democratic support needed in the Senate.

Ryan was careful not to stake an official position in the meeting, lawmakers said.

“I don’t think it’s final yet but I think we’re headed in that direction,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Ark.) said about the Dec. 22 plan. “I think that’s the preferred position, but nothing’s final until you do it on the floor.”

Other House Republicans said they could move the bill without Democrats.

“Are we gonna be able to do this with 218 votes? I think it’s possible,” Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said.

“No, I don’t think that we will need [Democrats],” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), a former spending panel chief, told reporters.

The move comes after members of the House Freedom Caucus temporarily withheld support on a tax vote Monday night pushing for a Dec. 30 deadline. The conservative Republican Study Committee also agreed to back that later deadline.

Fiscal hardliners have complained that a Dec. 22 deadline would cede too much leverage to Democrats in the days before Christmas.

John Bresnahan contributed to this report.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories