The Risk of a US Government Shutdown Grows as Republicans’ Funding Plan Faces Opposition

The possibility of a US government shutdown increased on Friday as House Republicans encountered resistance from members within their own party while attempting to pass short-term funding.

Twenty-one Republicans, along with all Democrats, voted against the latest funding proposal, marking another setback for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The proposed plan aimed to extend funding until November but required substantial spending cuts of around 30 percent in most areas. Even if it had passed the House, it faced insurmountable challenges in the Senate and the White House.

Mr. McCarthy, after the bill’s defeat, stated, “It’s not the end yet, I’ve got other ideas,” though he did not elaborate on what those ideas might be.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the Republicans for breaking their word and derailing the bipartisan agreement reached just four months ago. She warned that this could lead to a “Dangerous Republican Shutdown” that would harm the economy and national security.

If no agreement is reached by 12:01 am on Sunday, thousands of federal workers will go without pay, and federal agencies will operate with a minimal staff.

Visa applications and other processes could face delays, and national parks may be closed. Furthermore, a government shutdown would pose a risk to the US economy, at a time when inflation is showing signs of moderating.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the need for House Republicans to act responsibly and swiftly to prevent a “dangerous and unnecessary” shutdown, warning that it could hurt American families and economic progress.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden initially agreed on government funding with discretionary spending at $1.59 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year. However, McCarthy reversed his stance after a small group of Republicans demanded additional spending cuts and threatened to oust him as speaker.

This same group of Republicans also opposes any form of short-term funding, including the proposal put forward by McCarthy earlier on Friday.

If a government shutdown occurs, it would be the fourth in a decade and follow a similar standoff just four months ago that nearly resulted in the federal government defaulting on its $31 trillion debt.

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