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Republicans Reject Funding Bill, US Government Shutdown Looms

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Republicans Reject Funding Bill, US Government Shutdown Looms

Hardline Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a bill proposed by their leader to temporarily fund the government, increasing the likelihood of a partial government shutdown. The bill would have extended government funding by 30 days, but included spending cuts and restrictions on immigration that Democrats were unlikely to support. This defeat leaves Republicans without a clear strategy as the deadline for funding looms. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested that a funding extension without the controversial policies could still be passed, but the next steps remain uncertain.

The potential shutdown, if it occurs, would have a significant impact on federal agencies, national parks, and the pay of millions of federal workers. It could also disrupt financial oversight and scientific research. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a government shutdown would undermine economic progress and delay infrastructure improvements. This would mark the fourth government shutdown in the past decade and comes just months after a similar standoff almost resulted in defaulting on the national debt. The ongoing brinkmanship has raised concerns about its impact on U.S. creditworthiness.

President Joe Biden expressed concern about the potential toll on the armed forces, calling it a dereliction of duty to play politics while troops remain in harm’s way. McCarthy had hoped that the Republican spending bill’s provisions on border security would win support, but 21 hardline Republicans ultimately sided with Democrats to defeat the measure. Some Republicans are advocating for Congress to focus on detailed spending bills for the entire fiscal year instead of temporary extensions. Others believe it may be necessary to work with Democrats to pass a stopgap bill that could gain approval by the Senate and the president. The situation has highlighted divisions within the Republican Party and the potential for a government shutdown remains uncertain.

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