Home Business Reopening After Government Shutdown: Key Requirements and Actions Needed

Reopening After Government Shutdown: Key Requirements and Actions Needed

Reopening After Government Shutdown: Key Requirements and Actions Needed

The federal government is on the verge of a shutdown because Congress has not passed any of the 12 yearlong spending bills that fund the government. These appropriations bills must be approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the president, but this year, Congress has failed to enact any of them. Without a temporary stopgap measure to fund federal agencies while lawmakers pass the annual spending bills, the government will shut down.

The main disagreement over spending stems from negotiations in the spring between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden. They agreed to cap federal spending for the next two years and require Congress to pass each individual spending bill separately. However, right-wing lawmakers oppose the deal and argue for deeper spending cuts that the Senate and White House are unlikely to accept.

In an attempt to avert a shutdown, the Senate is considering a bipartisan spending patch known as a “continuing resolution,” or “C.R.,” which would keep the government open through November 17. This patch includes funding for aid to Ukraine and natural disaster relief in the United States. However, McCarthy does not have enough votes to pass this bill as some Republicans oppose continuing spending at current levels, even temporarily. In an alternative approach, House Republicans passed four individual yearlong spending bills that cut government funding and include extreme policy riders. These bills are unlikely to become law or prevent a shutdown. To reopen the government, Congress would need to pass a temporary spending patch and bipartisan deals on the annual spending bills, which is a challenging task considering the divided control of the House, Senate, and White House. McCarthy faces difficulties in accomplishing this within his tight House majority, or he risks his speakership if he attempts to pass a bill with Democrats.

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