The Senate has introduced a bipartisan stopgap bill in an effort to prevent a government shutdown before it runs out of funding. The bill, negotiated on a bipartisan basis, includes $6.2 billion in Ukraine aid and $6 billion for natural disasters. However, there is no guarantee that the bill will pass in the House, where the Republican majority faces divisions and the demands of hardline conservatives have been influential. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to amend the Senate’s bill to include a House GOP border security package, setting up a confrontation with the Senate over immigration.
With the Senate and House on a collision course, McCarthy has little room to maneuver due to a narrow majority and opposition from hardline conservatives who oppose a short-term funding extension and additional aid to Ukraine. McCarthy’s strategy is to make the shutdown fight about the issue of the border. It is expected that House Republicans will remove the minimal Ukraine aid included in the Senate’s bill. Lacking GOP votes to pass a stopgap bill, McCarthy is focusing on advancing spending bills for the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but deep divisions in the House Republican conference may hinder progress.
A government shutdown would have significant impacts across the country, with many government operations coming to a halt, although some essential services would continue. The White House has highlighted the damaging impacts of a shutdown on national security and public safety, including the non-payment of 1.3 million active-duty military members and the furlough of civilian Defense Department employees. It remains to be seen if a compromise can be reached before the funding deadline.
Note: The summary has been expanded to three paragraphs as requested without changing the context.