House Republicans release short-term bill to avert government shutdown until Oct. 31

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Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol to discus an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden on Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Key factions of the House Republican conference reached a tentative agreement Sunday to keep the government funded temporarily and avert a shutdown currently scheduled for the end of this month, pairing it with a conservative border security measure, multiple GOP sources with knowledge told NBC News.

House Republicans released a bill after a tentative agreement between the far-right Freedom Caucus and the center-right Main Street Caucus, the sources said. The deal, which keeps the government funded through Oct. 31 but includes cuts to domestic spending, is expected to pave the way to pass a defense spending bill this week that has been tied up in the standoff between Republican leadership and the far-right.

If the legislation passes the House, it would resolve one internal problem for Speaker Kevin McCarthy while creating a new one. The controversial immigration provisions and reduced spending levels make it all but guaranteed to die in the Democratic-led Senate, meaning it could do more to hasten a shutdown at the end of September than prevent one.

The bill includes most of the Secure the Border Act of 2023, a wish list of immigration provisions for GOP hardliners, with the exception of provisions requiring the use of E-Verify for employers to check immigration status. The legislation has been a big priority for Freedom Caucus members. And while it passed the House in May, it has been ignored by the Senate.

Notably, the temporary government funding legislation doesn’t address Ukraine aid nor disaster relief, two priorities for the White House and many lawmakers in both parties.

The lawmakers named on the bill are Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., Scott Perry, R-Pa., Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.

House Republicans, who have a slim majority, held a call Sunday evening at 8 p.m. ET to discuss the measure.

Earlier in the day, McCarthy urged his colleagues to avert a shutdown during an appearance on Fox News.

“A shutdown would only give strength to the Democrats,” McCarthy said. “It would give the power to Biden. It wouldn’t pay our troops. It wouldn’t pay our border agents. More people would be coming across. I actually want to achieve something.”