US barrels toward shutdown as House Republicans say they lack votes for short-term funding bill

WASHINGTON — With the deadline just hours away, Republican leaders agreed in a closed-door meeting Saturday that they lack support for passing a last-minute funding deal to avert a government shutdown that would cause economic pain for millions of American families.

If Congress doesn’t act, the government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. Sunday — halting pay for the nation’s 4 million servicemen and other federal employees, closing federal parks and monuments, and disrupting food and education programs for low-income children.

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Many frustrated lawmakers said a shutdown was inevitable at this point after conservative hardliners in the House on Friday blocked a 30-day stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, or CR.

After a long tussle with Republicans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Friday night that he was not swayed and was pursuing a new strategy to buy Republicans more time to pass individual appropriations bills.

But when House Republicans reconvened Saturday morning, GOP Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told lawmakers that Republicans’ draft CR did not have enough GOP votes to pass it, according to a source in the private meeting.

Emerging from the chamber, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced the House would vote on a 45-day CR with disaster aid, but Senate negotiators agreed to no aid for Ukraine. They will vote on three bills to pay troops during the shutdown, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration and reauthorize the nation’s flood insurance program, the source said.

The 45-day CR vote is expected to fail.

Other House Republicans said they needed to find a way to keep the government open.

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“There is no other way. People are sitting around thinking that a government shutdown will somehow benefit the people?” The moderate freshman, who faces a tough re-election bid next year, said, RN.Y “I’m asking them to talk to seniors who don’t have care or kids like me who don’t get disability services.

“Abandoning people is not a message and not a recipe for success.”

“Abandoning people is not a message and not a recipe for success.”

Rep. Mark Molinaro, RN.Y.

But even if the House passes a measure that the Senate accepts, a senator can slow down the process in the Senate and force the nation to shut down.

Not sure McCarthy, a California Republican, could rally his forces behind a CR, or that Democrats would accept one without Ukraine money. There was no consensus among the 221 House Republicans after a nearly three-hour closed-door “family meeting” in the Capitol’s basement.

“We’re all over the map,” Rep. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., a high-profile owner close to McCarthy, said Friday night. “Some people want to put what we’ve done back on the floor. Others want 14 days, some want seven days. … They’ll go back and make a plan, and then let us know what that plan looks like, and then we’ll all come back here and vote tomorrow on another strategy.

If you’re out of work or feeling the effects of closed services, we want to hear from you about how you’re preparing for a potential government shutdown. Please contact us [email protected] Or contact us Here.

Womack wasn’t as optimistic as the speaker: “I think it’s pretty safe to say the lights are going to go out at midnight.”

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With the GOP-led House in disarray, the Democratic-controlled Senate continues to push forward with its own bipartisan plan to avert a shutdown: a six-week CR that includes about $6 billion in economic and military aid to Ukraine and another $6 billion. For disaster relief at home.

The Senate bill passed a procedural hurdle earlier this week in a bipartisan 76-22 vote. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Senate will hold another procedural vote on Saturday, but senators are unlikely to finish work on the CR before the shutdown deadline.

A TweetSchumer urged McCarthy to align with the Senate strategy: “If you don’t want our troops to go without pay. If you don’t want to affect public health programs. If you don’t want malnutrition for women, infants and children. The only way to avoid a shutdown is bipartisanship.”

President Joe Biden and the White House have endorsed the Senate proposal and called on House Republicans to get behind it to prevent a shutdown.

But McCarthy hesitated to vote on a clean finance bill — which would have the support of most House Democrats — because of threats to his speakership. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has repeatedly vowed to oust McCarthy if he brings a CR that relies on Democratic votes to the floor.

In a new interview, Biden criticized McCarthy for cutting a deal with conservative hardliners to hang on to power.

“The speaker has made a terrible bargain,” Biden said in an interview ProPublica Released on Sunday. “He’s willing to do things that he knows are inconsistent with constitutional processes No. 1 in order to retain the speakership.

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“No. 2, I think there’s a group of MAGA Republicans who really want a fundamental change in the way the system works,” Biden continued. “That’s what worries me the most.”

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