House GOP spending momentum sputters as long holiday break looms

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Government funding is not on the menu for House lawmakers returning from their Thanksgiving district work period this week, even as the holiday schedule puts Congress in a time crunch to make a deal on federal spending.

The House is expected to hold several votes related to the Israel-Hamas conflict as well as the U.S. border crisis, according to a schedule obtained by Fox News Digital on Monday.  

Not listed are the remaining five appropriations bills that House Republicans are aiming to pass out of 12 total. Similarly, there are no upcoming meetings or hearings on appropriations listed on the websites of the House Rules Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

The House has been in recess since Nov. 17, returning on Tuesday afternoon. Lawmakers will be gone again from Dec. 15 until the new year.

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Just before leaving, Congress passed a temporary extension of last year’s government funding levels, but with two separate deadlines: Passing appropriations bills concerning military construction and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, by Jan. 19, while the remaining eight appropriations bills must be worked out by Feb. 2.

Before that, the Senate passed its own three spending bills in a joint “minibus” and is potentially weighing a similar effort with the other nine. 

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And despite the solidarity shown by passing the extension to avoid a government shutdown, the two chambers are still far apart on a final deal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

The topline budgets the House and Senate have said they are expected to be working toward are about $120 billion apart. Conservative policy riders on issues like abortion and the LGBTQ community have also made the House GOP’s bills a nonstarter for the Democrat-controlled White House and Senate. 

The lack of expected votes on appropriations this week comes after House leaders were forced to pull key spending bills from the schedule over the last month over opposition from both moderates and the GOP Conference’s right flank.

SPEAKER JOHNSON ROLLS OUT PLAN TO AVOID GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, PREVENT ‘SPENDING MONSTROSITY’

But House conservatives have made clear that the pressure is on GOP leaders to not only move forward with the appropriations process, but also fight for deep spending cuts along the way. 

Chip Roy

“If the [House GOP] cannot 1) cut spending off of the massive Pelosi omnibus… 2) demand the U.S. border be secured before even mentioning the word Ukraine… & 3) make our military great again w/o social engineering… what’s the point of being in the majority?” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on X.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said on the platform, “Consistently high inflation is continuing to rage and hurt our economy. Washington must take these issues seriously by working together to cut wasteful government spending. Both parties created this mess, and we must work together to fix it.”

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