The federal government continues its trek towards a potential shutdown, which while leaving some essential functions operational would threaten paychecks for many government personnel and quickly send a cascade of disruptions through the U.S. economy. And yet, House Republicans seem largely unmoved, moving forward instead with a slower-paced process of approving the necessary funding that, considering the extreme nature of some of their proposals, won’t even necessarily result in the funding receiving necessary final approvals.
The inter-party negotiations that would have to follow final approval in the House of some of this stuff would force even more delays. The Senate has prepared a short-term deal known as a continuing resolution (CR) that provides a basic extension of prior agreements on funding, but House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly turned against the Senate’s arrangement as it stood, complaining about continued funding in support of Ukraine amid its war with Russia.
Republicans in the House are clearly convinced they can assemble some sort of coalition to move forward with their southern border demands and sought cuts to various categories of government spending, but it’s hardly clear that’s true. These are extreme proposals they’re pushing. McCarthy even wants “to amend the Senate’s CR with H.R. 2, the House’s border security bill,” Punchbowl News reported early on Wednesday. That proposed bill includes new demands for border wall construction, so that’s what Americans are facing here. And as is, McCarthy has spoken against even voting on the Senate’s CR.
“A clean measure to keep the government open likely has enough votes to pass both the House + Senate, and keep huge swaths of American workers paid and their lives undisrupted as GOP sort out their political differences. The Republican Speaker is blocking it from getting a vote,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) commented online this Wednesday.
Republicans have, at least in part, also openly embraced the possibility of a shutdown, despite the direct disruptions to many workers’ paychecks that could result. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) suggested the possibility could be a boost for his side because of increasing the urgency behind negotiations.