Amid spending bill impasse, government shutdown looms

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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The U.S. government will shut down at the end of the month unless Congress can strike a deal in the next 12 days.

There’s now a group of Republicans proposing a short term funding extension to avoid a shutdown – but the proposal may be dead on arrival. Not just because Democrats will oppose it, but also because Republicans can’t agree with each other.

“What most of America doesn’t know, the majority of the government will be operating, will be working,” says Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina), who expects a government shutdown.

Despite this, Mace played down the consequences of Congress failing to fund the government in time stating, “I’ve talked to some federal employees that don’t really mind it, because they’re going to get a vacation.”

But if funding lapses, critical government services to the public could be impacted. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-New York), a member of House Republican leadership, says Republicans are working to avoid a shutdown noting, “We’re in a very good place.”

Six Republicans hashed out a short term deal over the weekend to fund the government through October 31.

“That includes the DOD appropriations bill,” adds Stefanik.

The proposal would keep the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs funding at current levels. But other government agencies could have their budgets slashed by as much as 8%. However, this doesn’t include any funding for recent natural disasters or for Ukraine aid.

“As House Democrats, we’re going to continue to try to find common ground with the other side of the aisle,” emphasizes Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York).

It’s unlikely the short term funding proposal will provide the common ground needed as Democrats in the Senate are likely to reject it. Even some Republicans in the House have already expressed opposition.

“House Republicans are in the middle of a civil war,” adds Jeffries, “Civil war has the following attributes: Chaos, dysfunction and extremism in the House.”

Because of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s inability so far to unite his own party, there are now discussions on Capitol Hill among Republicans about possibly ousting McCarthy as the party’s leader.

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