Lawmakers Express Concern Over Possible Government Shutdown
Democratic and Republican lawmakers are expressing deep concern over the possibility of a government shutdown. This comes as members of the House Freedom Caucus create barriers due to their dissatisfaction with the debt ceiling deal.
Several conservative members blocked significant legislation from passing in a nearly weeklong shutdown that ended Wednesday. The end of the stalemate came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreed to meet their demand to write multiple 2024 spending bills at fiscal 2022 levels.
Worries Over Conflicting Demands
Multiple members of the Appropriations Committee, responsible for crafting spending bills, have expressed concerns over the challenges this situation presents. The demands from the House Freedom Caucus conflict with those of the federal government agreement.
“It’s going to be a problem,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), an Appropriations Committee member, said in an interview with the Hill. “We’ll go into a collaborative conference, try to hash it out,” Capito added. “But I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”
Lawmakers are advocating against deviating from the debt plan made between President Joe Biden and McCarthy, which was signed on June 3 to avert a debt default.
“And at the end of the day, any spending agreement that is arrived at by the end of the year has to be consistent with the resolution of the default process — otherwise, what was it all for?” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said, per Roll Call.
The Senate must reach a spending deal by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown. However, the House and Senate face the challenge of balancing the demands of the Freedom Caucus for deep spending cuts with GOP senators who are hesitant to make defense cuts.
“I’m not concerned that we lack the capacity to do it,” Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), an Appropriations Committee member, told the Hill. “But we have to have the will to get on it.”
The GOP-led committee has demanded federal budget cuts in the debt ceiling plan.
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