Speaker Johnson draws battle lines ahead of government spending showdown

‘We’ve sent appropriations bills over to the Senate and they have done nothing with them. Ultimately, we are going to be in a conference committee working out final agreements and all these things, but we are hopeful that the Senate will do their job,’ Johnson told Fox News Digital in an interview

The House has passed five of 12 individual spending bills that together will fund the government in the next fiscal year. They’re slated to consider three more this week.

None have come for a vote in the Senate, where Democrats have lambasted Republicans for writing spending bills at a lower level than what was agreed to under the bipartisan debt limit deal. However, Senate appropriators announced a bipartisan deal last week to combine three spending bills into a ‘minibus.’

Johnson told Fox News Digital the House and Senate were ‘going to be at an impasse’ if Schumer sent a minibus or an omnibus to the House rather than taking up the 12 individual spending bills.

‘We are committed to returning to regular order, and that means…12 separate appropriations bills. And I think that people are with us on that,’ Johnson said.

Last year the Democratically-held Congress funded the government with one large omnibus spending bill, something a majority of Republicans oppose.

‘The problem with omnibus and minibus spending bills is that it’s irresponsible… Too much money is spent, there’s often not enough accountability for it. And the American people are not able to adequately follow how their [money] is being spent. And we have to change that,’ Johnson said.

‘We owe that to the people, to restore some sort of common sense in this process and allow the citizens that we represent to be able to follow and understand what’s happening here.’

Congress passed a short-term extension of last year’s fiscal priorities, known as a continuing resolution (CR) on Sept. 30, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. That funding expires on Nov. 17.

Johnson suggested he would not bring another so-called ‘clean’ CR but said the details of what House Republicans would need to add are still up in the air.

‘We haven’t gotten there yet. Those discussions will begin in earnest this week,’ he said of how to fit conservative priorities into a short-term spending bill. ‘I don’t want to put any markers out there yet, there are lots of ideas on the table.’

‘But I think at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is ensure that obviously the government remains in operation, but we do it in a fiscally responsible manner. And we cannot just print and borrow money and spend it anymore. We’re past that,’ he said.

The three spending bills House Republicans are looking to pass this week fund the Department of Interior, the legislative branch and transportation along with Housing and Urban Development.

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