House Republicans, trying to reverse their skid, now hope to vote on a stalled spending bill

House Republicans, trying to reverse their skid, now hope to vote on a stalled spending bill

House Republican leaders are floating another plan to avert a government shutdown — this one with steeper spending cuts — during a conference meeting happening Wednesday afternoon.

The new plan is similar to the deal negotiated between leaders of the House Freedom and Main Street Caucuses earlier this week, but would include further slashes to spending — funding the government at $1.47 trillion and still including stricter border policies, according to a lawmaker in the room.

It’s still unclear if the plan would have enough support to pass, given unanimous Democratic opposition. McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes with full attendance, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Cory Mills (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) all said during the meeting they would not vote for a stopgap plan, one lawmaker said.

Leadership has been in near-constant meetings with conservatives and others the past two days, trying to come up with some version of a stopgap spending bill they could get through the House — despite the fact that the Senate will reject whatever they come up with.

Some lawmakers are feeling more optimistic, however. Gaetz had said earlier in the meeting that there were seven lawmakers who aligned with him — a claim denied by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who came out against the previous deal, according to a lawmaker in the room.

“I think we’re going to be able to move forward in a productive way,” Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) said as he came out of the meeting.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) echoed that sentiment, telling reporters that there was “lots of progress” being made. Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said there was “progress.”

Two other people familiar with the situation said that, inside the meeting, two Republicans who had previously blocked the annual defense spending bill had agreed to support it. GOP leaders are now expected to take up that bill on Thursday, according to two people familiar with the plans.

If they can pass that legislation, they would take a step forward toward broader agreement on a short-term spending deal — albeit one with no chance of becoming law.

That’s not to say the situation is past the chaos, by any means. At one point, McCarthy began writing ideas on a white board, asking members in real time if they would commit to supporting them, according to the lawmaker in the room.

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