The White House appears to be signaling that President Biden would accept a short-term spending plan to avert a government shutdown brought by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a top Biden ally, told reporters that he discussed Johnson’s proposal with administration officials hours before the House of Representatives is set to hold a vote on it.
‘I think that we all want to avoid a shutdown. I’ve talked to the White House, and both of us agree, the White House and myself, that if this can avoid a shutdown, it will be a good thing,’ Schumer said at a Tuesday press conference.
The messaging from Washington, D.C.’s top Democrats will likely embolden left-wing lawmakers to cross the aisle and support the proposal — which it will need, given the growing defections from the right wing of Johnson’s party.
Democrats are still wary of splitting up government funding deadlines, a move Schumer called ‘goofy’ on Tuesday.
But he claimed overall victories for his party, because ‘the proposal before the House does two things Democrats pushed for.’
‘One, not making the hard-right cuts that the MAGA wing demands. And second, making sure that if they’re going to do this sort of goofy ladder, that defense is in the second part of the ladder, not the first.’
Congressional leaders on both sides have acknowledged that they will need more time to put together fiscal year 2024 spending priorities, and so a short-term bill known as a continuing resolution (CR) is warranted. Lawmakers risk a partial government shutdown if nothing is done by this Friday.
Johnson’s new ‘laddered’ CR would set two different funding deadlines for Congress’ 12 individual appropriations bills — a Jan. 19 date for four of the less traditionally controversial bills and Feb. 2 for the others, including defense spending.
A House Democratic aide told Fox News Digital they anticipate a broad cross-section of their caucus voting for the CR.
And the bill will need their votes to pass amid concerns that hardline right opposition could derail the CR in a procedural vote. House leaders are opting to rush it to the floor via a maneuver called suspension.
But forgoing the preliminary vote means the CR will need approval from two-thirds of the House to pass, rather than a simple majority.
Several House conservatives are opposed to passing any CR, which does not cut spending or enact conservative policies, while others are pushing back on its year-long extensions of several key U.S. programs.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House for comment.