HomeLatest NewsKevin McCarthy Scrambles for Last-Minute Deal Amid US Government Shutdown

Kevin McCarthy Scrambles for Last-Minute Deal Amid US Government Shutdown

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The possibility of a government shutdown looms in the US as House Republicans and Senate Democrats clash over a new budget. Congress has until midnight on Saturday to pass a funding agreement, or federal employees will face unpaid leave. The Senate has proposed a temporary funding bill that has bipartisan support, but hardline Republicans in the House are refusing to back any stopgap measure. These members have threatened to remove House leader Kevin McCarthy if he relies on Democratic votes to pass a funding bill without their support. McCarthy is exploring options to include border security provisions in the bill to garner more Republican backing.

The ideological divide within the Republican Party has created challenges for McCarthy, particularly in dealing with the more conservative wing of his caucus. With control of the chamber by only nine seats, the right-wing members hold significant power over the proceedings. They demand spending cuts and conservative priorities, making it difficult for McCarthy to pass a bill without support from the opposing party. However, partnering with Democrats could trigger a motion to oust him as Speaker. President Joe Biden has criticized McCarthy for prioritizing his position over the interests of the American people.

As the deadline approaches, both sides are mired in a standoff, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown. The Senate’s funding bill, which would extend until 17 November, seems unlikely to gain approval in the House due to the resistance from hardline Republicans. The House is set to vote on their own short-term spending bills, but these are also unlikely to pass in the Senate. While there is still time for a late agreement, the lack of cooperation between the chambers and the deep divisions within the Republican Party make a resolution uncertain. The potential shutdown would have significant consequences, with federal employees facing unpaid leave and the government’s ability to function properly hindered.

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