Mark Meadows

Paul Ryan Caught Between Freedom Caucus, Democrats
Lacking votes on resolving shutdown, speaker will need to negotiate with one or the other

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have just a couple of days left to round up support to avoid a government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Likely short of the votes he needs to pass a stopgap government funding bill through his chamber by Friday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan spent Wednesday morning railing against Democrats — whose votes he may need to court.

A four-week continuing resolution that GOP leaders unveiled Tuesday night faces opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus who want immediate action to increase defense spending and from Democrats who want a resolution this week on the status of some 690,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Freedom Caucus Members Withholding Votes GOP Needs to Pass CR
“The votes are not currently there to pass it with just Republicans,” Meadows says

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says the votes are not currently there to pass a CR with just Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:09 p.m. | While a majority of House Republicans appear ready to support a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open through Feb. 16, enough Freedom Caucus members remain uncommitted to make passage questionable.

“The votes are not currently there to pass it with just Republicans,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said before a crucial House GOP conference meeting on the topic Tuesday night.

Spending, Immigration Talks Entangled
Ahead of Jan. 19 deadline, little progress has been made on either

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer confer after the Senate policy lunches in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite Republican leaders’ best efforts to decouple spending and immigration negotiations, the two issues have become intertwined. And with five legislative days before the Jan. 19 government funding deadline, little progress has been made.

Lawmakers have acknowledged that a fourth stopgap spending measure is needed to keep the government open while broader talks about fiscal 2018 spending and a legislative replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, continue. House Republicans will huddle Thursday morning to discuss both issues.

FISA Vote in the House Pivots on Privacy
Bipartisan group is demanding tougher protections

As provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expire, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is leading a bipartisan group voicing privacy concerns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House is set to vote Thursday on a bill to extend the electronic surveillance powers of the National Security Agency. 

How the House votes could determine whether the bill wins Senate passage for a long-term extension of provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or if lawmakers hit another roadblock and decide to punt again. Facing an impasse before Christmas, Congress passed a short-term extension until Jan. 19. The provisions were due to expire Dec. 31. 

GOP Leaders Weighing Mid-February Stopgap, With Sweeteners
CHIP fix could grease bipartisan skids

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is not thrilled about the prospect of another short-term stopgap spending measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GOP leaders are working on a stopgap continuing resolution that would continue current spending levels into mid-February and include a health care package that would reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, fund community health centers and extend various Medicare provisions, people with knowledge of the process say.

Some elements of the proposal are still being worked out, and it is unclear what the final package will look like. But the aim is to draw bipartisan support on the floor of both chambers next week, averting a partial government shutdown after midnight next Friday, Jan. 19, when the current stopgap expires.

House Votes to Fund Government Through Mid-January
‘I think the Democrats not being willing ... helped us bring everybody together’

The U.S. Capitol building shown from the east plaza on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans took the first step Thursday toward avoiding a partial shutdown when they passed a stopgap measure to fund the government through Jan. 19.

The chamber voted in favor of a continuing resolution, 231-188, sending the measure to the Senate where it’s expected to pass later Thursday or early Friday. Without the stopgap — the third such measure deployed for fiscal 2018 — funding would expire at midnight Friday.

House GOP Leaders Pushing for Stopgap Spending Bill
Securing last-minute votes may be needed

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., predicts passage of a stopgap spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House GOP leaders are moving forward with a vote Thursday on a stopgap spending bill and a short-term extension of government surveillance powers lasting through Jan. 19, although they were working late Wednesday to secure some last-minute votes to pass it.

Several members of the House Freedom Caucus were withholding their support when leadership whipped the plan Wednesday evening.

GOP Dumps Full-Year Defense Plan, CR Incoming
Friday deadline or government shuts down

From left, incoming House Appropriations Committee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talk as the 115th Congress convenes on Jan. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are abandoning plans to pass a full-year defense appropriations measure by the end of the week and will instead use a continuing resolution to keep the military and other government agencies funded through Jan. 19, a GOP aide confirmed.

Leadership is currently planning separate votes on the CR, a disaster relief supplemental vote and reauthorization of government surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

With Talks in Flux, Shutdown Showdown Gets Closer
Fate of ‘cromnibus’ hangs in the balance

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., center, is trying to figure out the winning combo to fund the government and pass other priorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ plan to pass a full-year Defense appropriations bill with a continuing resolution for remaining agencies through Jan. 19 was supposed to be an easy lift, a measure designed to show the Senate their unified support for increased national security funding.

But as the House prepares to vote on the spending bill Wednesday, just two days before the Dec. 22 government funding deadline, GOP division over the $81 billion disaster supplemental that leadership hoped to attach to the so-called cromnibus has effectively weakened the House’s negotiating leverage.

Paul Ryan Says He's Sticking Around, Vague With Timeline

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says he isn't going anywhere, but hasn't been specific about the timeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday sought to tamp down rumors that he’s planning to resign soon or retire at the end of 2018, separately telling the House Republican Conference and the press that he’s not going anywhere.

However, the Wisconsin Republican did not qualify either statement with a timeline, leaving open to the possibility that he may not seek another term in Congress.