Things Are Looking Somewhat Dismal on the Shutdown Front

Here's the latest
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
Shutdown Clock Ticks Down: Just 4 Days to Go
The Capitol is seen late Tuesday night in Washington, as lawmakers worked to advance appropriations bills on the House floor.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The magic—or dreaded—number is four. As Reuters reports, the US is four days away from what would be the fourth government shutdown in a decade, and things aren't looking very promising. The Senate is barreling forward with bipartisan temporary funding that House Republicans have already said they won't support. If Congress can't manage to pass legislation for President Biden to sign by 12:01am ET Sunday, millions of federal employees will be furloughed, among other consequences. The latest:

  • On Tuesday the Senate handily (77-19) voted to start debating a temporary measure that would provide funding through Nov. 17 and greenlight about $6 billion each in aid for Ukraine and US disaster response efforts. The House GOP opposition is partially rooted in an insistence that any short-term funding measure also take on the issue of migrants at the border.
  • The AP reports Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pushing for a Friday vote on House Republicans' own stopgap funding measure that would see many federal agencies lose 8% of their funding and include that hard-line border security measure.
  • Politico's take: "McCarthy is already facing the threat of a far-right rebellion, one that would be virtually guaranteed if he put any Senate-negotiated plan on the floor with billions of dollars in Ukraine aid—not to mention a lack of further spending cuts and no border policy changes."
  • The Hill sums up the Senate's chess move: the hope that "if they jam the House right before the deadline, McCarthy will relent and bring it to the House floor, where it would likely pass in a bipartisan vote."
  • CNN flags one potential Senate wrinkle. Getting the measure passed in time would require a sped-up process that all 100 senators would have to vote in favor of, but GOP Sen. Rand Paul has said he will "slow walk" any bill that contains more money for Ukraine.
(Read more government shutdown stories.)

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