Johnson And Schumer Clash As Partial Government Shutdown Looms

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) got into a war of words on Sunday over negotiations on government spending.

The disagreement between the two Congressional leaders come as multiple government agencies are set to shut down on Friday unless they reach a deal to keep government funded and avert the shutdown.

In a “dear colleague” letter on Sunday evening, Schumer said that his team has been having “intense discussions” with Johnson’s team over the issue.

While he said that he hopes to have a proposal in place for a spending deal by this weekend, he added that House Republicans “need more time to sort themselves out.

“Unfortunately, extreme House Republicans have shown they’re more capable of causing chaos than passing legislation,” he wrote before asking Johnson to do the right time and “buck the extremists in his caucus,”

Johnson responded to Schumer’s letter through a statement in which he blasted the “counterproductive rhetoric” in the Senate leader’s letter.

Insisting that the House has “worked nonstop, and is continuing to work in good faith,” he accused Schumer of leaving out the part where Democrats made new demands that were not included in the spending bills passed in the Senate.

“Senate Democrats are attempting at this late stage to spend on priorities that are farther left than what their chamber agreed upon,” he wrote.

The dispute follows a Friday call to House Republicans that informed them of the possibility of them having to pass a stopgap measure to keep the government agencies funded temporarily, as the first set of agencies are set to shut down on March. 1.

Congress also has the option of putting together a “minibus,” according to a lawmaker.

However, there are some House Republicans who do not want Johnson to agree to a bipartisan deal or a stopgap bill, as they have asked him to ride the wave for budget cuts and conservative policy measures.

While a decision is yet to be made, Schumer, Johnson, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) will be having a meeting with President Joe Biden in the White House on Tuesday to discuss the urgency of passing a supplementary deal which will keep the government open.