House Refuses To Pass Another Shutdown Stopgap As Centrists Craft Pared-Down Ukraine Package

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Feb 16, 2024 - 08:00 PM

The #3 Republican in the House on Thursday said that the chamber will not pass another temporary spending bill which would avert a partial government shutdown when the next deadline expires on March 1. A second tranche of funding for US agencies runs out on March 8.

"You are not going to get another continuing resolution out of our conference," said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Emmer's comments came as the House left Washington for a two-week recess until Feb. 28, just days before the first deadline.

That said, Emmer did seem hopeful that a shutdown could be averted with several upcoming spending bills just ahead of the deadline.

"When we come back the key is what are the packages that are put on the floor," he said. "We should be there before the first deadline of March 1."

Those comments echo those of Rosa DeLauro, the top Democrat on the House spending panel, earlier Thursday. She also said talks were making progress. But DeLauro added that conservative demands for policy changes to be attached to the spending bills continue to be a problem. Conservatives have demanded many of these so-called riders including banning abortion drugs and making changes to immigration. -Bloomberg

According to Emmer, the White House is to blame for refusing to open new border security talks with Speaker Mike Johnson in an effort to unlock billions in Ukraine aid, and that the bipartisan Senate border deal passed last week was a "non-starter" for Republicans. 


'Centrists' Take Another Bite at the Apple

After Speaker Johnson rejected a Senate-passed $95 billion national security package, a group of 'centrist' House lawmakers on Friday unveiled a pared down 'mini-me' version of the bill - as opposed to trying to pass a 'clean' border security bill on its own, and then protect the borders of other nations.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at the Capitol on March 3, 2022.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

"This is a really good piece of legislation. It’s pared-down. It’s airtight. There’s really not a whole lot of area that anyone can criticize on this," said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in a statement to reporters before releasing the text of the proposal. "And it’s bipartisan. It’s the only bipartisan solution in the House."

The $66.3 billion bipartisan package, titled the "Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act," has six initial co-sponsors, equally split between Democrats and Republicans. In addition to Fitzpatrick, the Republican backers are Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska and Mike Lawler of New York. The Democrats are Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Ed Case of Hawaii and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington.

The release of the bill comes as the House leaves for a nearly two-week recess. Fitzpatrick is a co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of centrist lawmakers, but he said the legislation wasn’t a Problem Solvers product -NBC News

Out of the $66 billion, $47.7 would go to Ukraine, $10.4 would go to Israel, $4.9 billion would go to 'shore of the defense of allies in the Indo-Pacific," and $2.4 billion would go back to US Central Command operations, including the conflict in the Red Sea.

Oh, and it 'borrows language' from the House GOP tough border bill, H.R. 2.

So no actual money for the US border - but 'language' that could strengthen it, if followed.

That includes bringing back the “Remain in Mexico” policy for one year, requiring some migrants, including asylum-seekers, to wait in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. President Joe Biden ended the policy, which human rights groups said led migrants to face kidnappings and violence, when he took office, and the Supreme Court upheld the move.

“That’s something we’ll have to work out,” Bacon said. “I’m not on the foreign — I’m not an ambassador, so I have no idea how they’re going to respond. Our guys want something that makes a difference on the border.”

Fitzpatrick said it’ll be the Biden administration’s job to find a way to make Mexico comply.

And there you have it - they don't even know how the border provisions would pan out.