On the morning of September 29th, a weekend government shutdown remained on the books as Congress continued to struggle to approve an agreement. Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, does not seem to have the votes required to approve a stopgap bill that is mostly a final attempt to extend the funding of the government after Saturday.
The Imminent Government Shutdown Looms Large
The federal services are already preparing to face a government shutdown as the impasse at Congress remains. On September 30th, at midnight, the funding for the government will officially run out. As such, Kevin McCarthy faces the most important obstruction to his leadership. He might spark a big confrontation involving hardline conservatives should he forcefully push a funding extension of one month through. According to them, instead of stopgaps, Congress must focus on spending bills that will run the length of the year.
The leadership of the House GOP hopes that provisions for border security inserted inside the stopgap measure will make the hardliners reconsider. However, even if a measure like this passes Congress, the border measures and spending levels mean the Senate will never pass it, because it is in the hands of the Senate.
The House leaders of the GOP remain unsure if they can win an important procedural vote on September 29th regarding the temporary bill. So far, it is expected that every Democrat will vote against it, added to at least four conservative Republicans because they seek to oppose the plans of McCarthy.
A government shutdown will have enormous consequences for the country. Important areas and amenities like air travel, clean water for drinking, and several government operations will be forced to halt. However, “essential” services will continue. As such, the Senate has continued searching for a bipartisan temporary bill that will delay the government shutdown till November 17th.