Hardline Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have rejected a bill that would have temporarily funded the government, increasing the likelihood of a partial government shutdown. The bill, which aimed to fund the government for 30 days, included spending cuts and immigration and border security restrictions. However, with a Democratic majority in the Senate, the bill had little chance of passing. Meanwhile, the Senate has been advancing a similar bill to fund the government through November 17 in a bipartisan manner. If Congress does not pass a spending package before Sunday, federal agencies like the National Park Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission will partially shut down, affecting up to 4 million federal workers.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that a government shutdown would have a detrimental impact on the U.S. economy, idling key programs for small businesses and children and potentially delaying major infrastructure improvements. This would be the fourth government shutdown in a decade, raising concerns about the nation’s creditworthiness. President Joe Biden has also voiced his concerns, stating that a shutdown would have a heavy toll on the armed forces. Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had proposed the bill that was rejected, has not yet revealed his next course of action. The ongoing disagreement between hardline Republicans and Democrats has created a stagnant political climate, with each side highlighting the potential disastrous consequences of the other’s proposed bill.
The current conflict over funding the government revolves around a small portion of the U.S. budget for this fiscal year. Popular benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare are not being considered for cuts. Hardline Republicans are demanding further spending cuts and tougher immigration legislation at the U.S.-Mexico border. The standoff between different factions within the Republican party has frustrated many House Republicans, who express concerns that the hardliners are hindering the process. While former President Donald Trump has been pushing his allies toward a government shutdown on social media, the consequences of such a shutdown include delaying economic data releases and retirees finding out how much their Social Security payments will increase next year.