Possible Government Shutdown Looms Amid Battle Over Open Border
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WASHINGTON – Time is running out to avoid a government shutdown. Lawmakers have until midnight Saturday to reach a deal and so far there isn't one.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is wrestling with holdout Republicans.
"Why would they side with Biden on an open border when we have an opportunity to do something about the border?" McCarthy asked reporters Thursday. "Are they doing it for that reason? Doing it for personal reasons? Doing it for chaos?"
Friday McCarthy will hold a test vote on a bill, pushing his conference to come together and approve a measure that would cut federal spending by eight percent and increase border security, while temporarily keeping the government open. But at least 10 GOP members are against any short-term solution.
Asked by a reporter Thursday how this short-term solution, or continuing resolution, would fare, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said McCarthy doesn't have the votes and that the measure will fail.
I’m not voting for a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds Jack Smith’s election interference, dangerous chaos on the Southern Border, and money for the endless war in Ukraine.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 29, 2023
I came to Washington to be a voice for my voters and fix this once great nation. I’m not here to… pic.twitter.com/6UAnDnZDAR
So far, the House has passed four of the 12 appropriations bills needed to fund the government, but they're considered dead on arrival in the Democratically controlled Senate.
If there is a shutdown, as many as four million federal workers could be furloughed or asked to work without pay. Around half of them are military troops and personnel, along with 20,000 Border Patrol officers.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rebuked his fellow Republicans in the House on the Senate floor Thursday.
"Shutting down the government is a choice," he said. "And it's a choice that would make the crisis at our southern border even worse."
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are refusing to go along with McCarthy's plan for the border.
"If we need to put on the table some border security measures, we should take the next two months to figure out exactly what that is rather than throwing something together in an afternoon and jamming it into this bill," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).
As for the overall economy, economists say a government shutdown is not likely to have a major impact. Goldman Sachs predicts a shutdown could last two to three weeks.
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