House Republican and Democratic leadership are working to see how many votes each side can provide to adopt a two-step interim spending bill offered by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) that would avoid a government shutdown.
Fox News Digital is told that the “rule,” which the House must first adopt to put the underlying stopgap spending plan on the floor, is in serious trouble.
If the House can’t approve the rule, it can not even begin debate, let alone pass, the bill itself.
It is also unclear if a bipartisan cocktail of Republicans and Democrats could come together to bypass the “rule” process and put the bill on the floor as a “suspension.”
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., leaves the chamber just after the House approved a nearly $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel, but without humanitarian assistance for Gaza, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Democrats say that approach would only delay help for Israel. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has warned that the “stunningly unserious” bill has no chances in the Senate. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
However, the House does not need to go to the Rules Committee for the rule. It instead limits debate time for the legislation on the floor, but it will require a two-thirds supermajority to pass.
The House is currently at 434 members.
To pass the bill, it would need 290 votes to pass the bill and a broad bipartisan buy-in.
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 25: U.S. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) (L) hugs Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) after Johnson was elected as the new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 25, 2023, in Washington, DC. After a contentious nominating period that has seen four candidates over a three-week period, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) was voted in to succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Fox News Digital is told that the Democratic leadership team is trying to determine where its members stand.
The endorsement of the bill by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) helped ease some fears of many Democrats, Fox News Digital was told.
Members of the House of Representatives participate in the vote for Speaker on the first day of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 03, 2023, in Washington, DC.(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Fox News Digital is told that another concern from Democrats is the precedent of Johnson’s “laddered” approach.
According to sources, the Democrats do not like the idea of having one deadline in January for one set of spending bills and another deadline in February for a second set.
Representative Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, who was voted to become Vice Conference Chair, speaks to reporters following the House Republican caucus leadership elections at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. House Republicans reelected McCarthy as their leader on Tuesday, but dissent among conservatives remains a hurdle for him claiming the speaker’s gavel when the GOP takes charge of the chamber next year as expected. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Fox News Digital is told that Democrats will need to hash some of these concerns out at their morning caucus meeting.