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House recesses with just 2 days to solve government shutdown standoff

The House of Representatives has just two more days in session before the first of Congress’ two government shutdown deadlines, putting lawmakers on a critically short timeline to reach a bipartisan deal.

House lawmakers ended their week on Thursday afternoon after leaders called off votes scheduled for Friday. 

Unless members have caucus or committee work to attend to, they are largely not expected back on Capitol Hill until Feb. 28 – two days before the March 1 deadline to fund some government agencies.

The remaining agencies must be funded by March 8.

‘We think we’re going to meet the deadlines,’ House Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the appropriations process.

He previously passed two short-term extensions of the previous year’s government funding agreement, known as continuing resolutions. Congress has passed three overall to keep the government open past the original Sept. 30 fiscal year deadline.

However, the spending fight has been a particularly divisive battle for Johnson’s thin House GOP majority, and it likely will not get easier. 

Last month, he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced an agreement to set a discretionary spending topline of $1.59 trillion for the next fiscal year but would also honor an earlier side-deal of an added $69 billion. 

Johnson said he secured an extra $16 billion in cuts for this fiscal year to offset some of that.

However, GOP hardliners, including those in the House Freedom Caucus, have said they will not support anything above a total topline funding amount of $1.59 trillion. 

They have forced House floor proceedings to a grinding halt on multiple occasions by deliberately sinking their own party’s measures in protest of the bipartisan agreement.

The division, and his three-seat majority, will mean Johnson almost certainly needs to seek Democratic support in the House, even before reckoning with the liberal-held Senate.

Meanwhile, President Biden blasted House members on Friday for taking a two-week recess without bringing a $95 billion national security supplemental package to assist Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific to a vote, after it recently passed in the Senate.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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