Congress to engage in this back-and-forth bickering while the clock is ticking.”
Currently, the House and Senate are engaged in a stalemate over their differing spending plans, creating little hope of averting a government shutdown. Even if they were able to bridge the gap between the two bills, the complex parliamentary procedures in Capitol Hill make it highly unlikely to pass the necessary legislation in time. With the expiration of funds looming at 12:00:01 am on Sunday, there appears to be almost no way for Congress to secure funding for the government.
In an attempt to address this issue, a bipartisan Senate funding bill with a 45-day timeline received overwhelming support with 77 yeas. Senate leaders from both parties back this proposal. However, conservative senators like Rand Paul are determined to impede its passage due to the inclusion of funds for Ukraine. Paul argues that it is unjust for the US government to prioritize paying Ukrainian government workers while neglecting their own employees. His efforts to delay the process will likely result in the bill not being passed until the weekend, as they navigate through numerous parliamentary hurdles.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has made it clear that he will reject the Senate bill, regardless of its content. McCarthy asserts that the priorities of the Senate are misplaced, focusing on Ukraine instead of addressing the southern border. Despite the substantial support garnered by the Senate bill, with more than three-quarters of votes in favor, it failed to impress House conservatives. They argue that the Senate’s agreement does not effectively address the nation’s $33 trillion debt and dismiss it as a weak solution.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defends the approach taken by the Senate, emphasizing the importance of funding the government for the next six weeks while making progress on policy. However, his defense has not resonated with House Republicans, who believe that shutting down the government would be a more impactful way to make their point. Republican Senator Thom Tillis criticizes the Senate’s strategy, claiming that it will not prevent a shutdown and underscores the urgency of passing a bipartisan bill in both chambers.
To avert a shutdown, Tillis stresses the need for bipartisan support and cooperation from Congress. The current situation of discord between the House and Senate is counterproductive and lacks logic, given the dwindling time remaining before the government runs out of funds.