President Biden AND Senate Minority Leader McConnell want the billions getting approved in ONE VOTE….
US House Speaker Johnson isn’t going going along with the program…..
McConnell and Johnson ARE BOTH Republicans…..
Republican internal problems are now cross chambers, not just in the House….
And the new Speaker has little experience on how legislation actually gets done….
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson(R-La.) are headed for a showdown over emergency funding for Ukraine and funding the government beyond Thanksgiving, two tough issues that will test their ability to work together.
McConnell says he wants to keep military aid to Ukraine and Israel tied together because he views those conflicts as part of a larger global threat. He has repeatedly warned that picking a fight with Democrats that could result in a government shutdown is bad politics for the GOP.
Johnson says he wants to “bifurcate” the issues of Ukraine and Israel, and he has signaled early support for a stopgap funding bill that would include steep cuts to nondefense spending, which Democrats say would have no chance of passing the Senate.
Beyond the next three weeks, McConnell wants to pass the regular appropriations bills before Christmas in order to boost defense spending, while Johnson has floated the idea of freezing federal funding with a stopgap measure lasting until January or April.
Johnson has also proposed offsetting $14 billion in aid to Israel with other spending cuts, an idea that will be controversial with Senate Republicans and Democrats alike.
Adding to the challenge, few Republican senators had even heard of Johnson before his sudden election as Speaker on Wednesday, and McConnell still hasn’t even met him in person, though they spoke on the phone the day of Johnson’s election.
McConnell highlighted the challenges ahead, telling his Senate colleagues “we have a lot of work ahead of us” and urging House and Senate Republicans to “work together on a number of urgent priorities….
“Paradoxically, McConnell finds it much easier to talk to [Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)] than his Republican counterpart in the House,” he added.
Baker observed that while McConnell and Schumer have established a working relationship and know where each other stand, Johnson largely remains a mystery to many Republican senators.
“I wonder how long he’ll be Speaker for?” wondered Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), reflecting broader uncertainty among Senate Republicans whether Johnson will have much leeway to cut deals with Democrats to pass legislation.
At SOME point?
Democrats ARE gonna have be part of how the American Congress goes forward …