House Nearing ‘Nuclear’ Clash Over Funding for Ukraine, Warns Top House GOP Leader

Credits: NBC News

House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina has voiced concerns about the possibility of a government shutdown in early March, attributing the likelihood to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s apprehensions about his leadership position.

McHenry emphasized the preventable nature of such an outcome, pointing out missed opportunities for resolution in previous months. McHenry, a Republican, expressed a “50-50” chance of a shutdown, citing the need for momentum in negotiations to avert the crisis.

He suggested that if Speaker Johnson permits the Appropriations Committee to pursue a deal, a resolution could be reached by the upcoming deadlines.

However, McHenry suggested that Johnson’s apprehension about potential political repercussions from hard-right House Republicans might influence his decision, potentially leading to a shutdown.

US House GOP Leaders (Credits: Le Monde)

The looming deadlines on March 1 and March 8 require Congressional action to sustain government operations. President Biden has urged House Republicans to prioritize national security funding, particularly aid for Ukraine, amid ongoing gridlock.

While overall spending amounts for defense and domestic programs have been negotiated between Johnson and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, specific allocations under individual spending bills remain unresolved.

McHenry suggested that Johnson’s fear of backlash from conservative factions within the House could impede progress and contribute to the risk of a shutdown.

McHenry cautioned that if fear dictates Johnson’s decision-making, it could lead to adverse outcomes, including higher spending and fewer policy achievements. Ultimately, McHenry emphasized the importance of prioritizing government funding and cooperation to avoid unnecessary disruptions.

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