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Republicans defy own funding bill, US government faces imminent shutdown

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Hardline Republicans in the U.S. House have rejected a bill proposed by their leader to temporarily fund the government, increasing the likelihood of a partial government shutdown. The bill, which aimed to fund the government for 30 days, included spending cuts and immigration and border security restrictions. However, it had little chance of passing the Democratic-majority Senate. In contrast, the Senate has been advancing a similar bill on a bipartisan basis to fund the government through November 17.

If Congress does not pass a spending package by Sunday, federal agencies will partially shut down, impacting services such as the National Park Service and regulatory activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a shutdown would undermine economic progress and delay infrastructure improvements. This potential shutdown would be the fourth in a decade and raises concerns about damage to the nation’s creditworthiness and the toll it could take on the armed forces.

The Republican House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, expressed that he has other ideas following the defeat of the bill, although he did not provide details. Democrats argued that the Republican bill would result in significant cuts to benefits for poor women and children and wildfire resources while increasing defense and homeland security spending. The ongoing disagreement between Republicans on government funding has heightened tensions within the party, with hardliners threatening to oust McCarthy if he passes a spending bill that requires Democratic support. Former President Donald Trump has also encouraged his allies in Congress to push for a shutdown.

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