The government shutdown seemed all but inevitable when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy asserted that he would not support a Senate bill to keep the government open, even though Republicans in the House failed to agree on an alternative.
Congress is at an impasse with just two days remaining before a government shutdown that would prevent the two million federal government employees and the two million active and reserve military personnel from receiving their pay and also disrupt the services of the government, which would paralyze the government.
But the House and Senate are taking different approaches to avoid those consequences, even as midnight Saturday approaches, when the government will run out of funds.
The Senate has crafted a bipartisan measure that would fund the government through Nov. 17 while longer-term solutions are negotiated, providing $6 billion for Ukraine and the same amount for disaster relief in the United States.
The House, for its part, plans to vote on four of the dozen annual spending bills to fund various agencies, hoping to convince enough Republicans to support a House resolution to temporarily fund the government and boost security at the U.S. border in Mexico. Although it is unlikely to be approved, McCarthy has predicted a deal will be reached.
“Bet me, we’ll get there,” he said in an interview on CNBC. “I think we can work over the weekend. I think we can find the solution.”
The MPs were already tired of negotiating until late at night. Tension was palpable at McCarthy’s closed-door meeting with his bloc Thursday morning, with heated exchanges between the House speaker and Rep. Matt Gaetz, according to several attendees.
Gaetz, who has been threatening to impeach McCarthy for weeks, asked the president about the conservative influencers he pays to post negative things about him on social media. McCarthy responded that he wouldn’t talk about it; Gaetz told reporters as he left the meeting.