The government will run out of funding on September 30, leading to a potential shutdown.
Right now, Republicans seem to have no cohesive plan to keep the government funded.
Some Republicans are now saying they'll work across the aisle to keep the government open.
A government shutdown is looming, and Republicans don't seem to have any cohesive plan to stop it.
The government will run out of funding after September 30, and lawmakers in Congress finished up business for the week without a solution to prevent a shutdown. With members headed home for the weekend, and Republicans unable to rally for two separate votes on a defense spending bill, prospects are looking grim.
It's getting members on both sides of the aisle antsy — and despite conservative pushback, some Republicans are willing to work with Democrats to get the job done.
"Let's stop chasing our tail with these five to 10 members who are making demands that will never become law," GOP Rep. Don Bacon told Punchbowl News. "Let's start working across the aisle and get the best deal we can."
Rep. Mike Lawler, a Republican from New York, told CNN that if Republicans can't pass a short-term spending bill, he'd also be willing to work across the aisle. After other Republicans blasted the idea of using a discharge petition — a convoluted legislative process that lets lawmakers sidestep the Speaker of the House and bring legislation to the floor — to keep the government funded, Lawler took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to fire back.
Says the guy who has voted against the rule and the speaker despite the vast majority of the conference supporting him. #clownshow
— Mike Lawler (@lawler4ny) September 21, 2023
Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have been adamantly opposed to working with Democrats on a funding solution, instead pushing forward demands that include deep spending cuts, strengthened border security, and an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. They have vowed to oppose any legislation that caves to Democrats and does not meet their demands, leaving Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in a tough spot — and staring down a shutdown in just over a week.
"If Speaker McCarthy relies on Democrats to pass a continuing resolution, I would call the Capitol moving truck to his office pretty soon because my expectation would be he'd be out of the speaker's office quite promptly," Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told CNN.
It's looking increasingly likely that the solution to fund the government will require bipartisanship — but it's unclear if that will happen before September 30. As Insider previously reported, the consequences of a shutdown could be significant and costly. Thousands of federal employees would be furloughed at the outset, leading to delays for Americans relying on federal programs like Social Security and SNAP. Additionally, national parks would close, the Small Business Administration would stop processing loan applications, and airplane travel could be disrupted.
"Extreme House Republicans need to stop playing political games with people's lives," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a briefing Thursday, adding: "A deal is a deal. House Republicans need to do their job, keep the government open, and work with us to deliver — to deliver for the American people."
The last time Americans faced a government shutdown was in 2019 under former President Donald Trump, who led a 35-day shutdown — the longest in US history. But Trump is even encouraging Republicans to let it happen again if not all of their spending demands are met, writing on Truth Social that the GOP should take advantage of the "very important deadline" for funding.
"This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots," Trump said. "They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!"
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