The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are facing a potential government shutdown as they push forward with conflicting government funding plans. The Senate is set to vote on a stopgap funding bill that has bipartisan support, while the House plans to vote on four partisan appropriations bills that have no chance of becoming law. The deadline to pass a funding bill to avoid a shutdown is midnight on Saturday, and failure to do so would result in furloughs of federal workers and a halt in various services. The funding fight primarily revolves around spending levels for fiscal year 2024, with House Republicans demanding further budget cuts and tougher legislation on immigration.
House Republicans, led by a group of hardline conservatives, have rejected the spending levels set in a deal between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden. They are demanding additional budget cuts and stricter immigration measures. McCarthy is facing pressure from his caucus to achieve their goals, with some hardliners threatening to remove him from his leadership role if he passes a spending bill that requires Democratic votes. Former President Donald Trump has also taken to social media to push for a shutdown.
The Senate’s stopgap funding measure, which has already passed an initial vote, would extend federal spending until November 17 and allocate funds for domestic disaster response and aid to Ukraine. However, House Republicans are calling for border provisions in the Senate bill to address issues at the U.S.-Mexico border. The potential shutdown has raised concerns among credit agencies, with Moody’s warning that it could harm the country’s credit rating. Most of Congress, including many Senate Republicans, has rejected House Republicans’ focus on border issues and emphasized the need for meaningful progress on policy instead. The House is expected to vote on its own short-term funding measure, while the risk of a shutdown remains high.