Tensions rose among House Republicans as they failed to come to a consensus on a plan to avoid a government shutdown. During a closed-door meeting, Representative Matt Gaetz confronted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy about allegations that McCarthy’s allies were paying conservative influencers to criticize Gaetz on social media. McCarthy dismissed the accusation, stating that he wouldn’t waste time or money on Gaetz. This exchange further strained their already tense relationship, with Gaetz threatening to force a vote to oust the speaker. With only three days remaining before government funding expires, Congress is at an impasse, and House Republicans plan to vote on a series of spending bills that may not have enough support. Meanwhile, the Senate is working on a bipartisan stopgap bill to keep the government open through November 17.
As the possibility of a government shutdown draws closer, the potential impacts are becoming apparent. Essential government workers will remain on the job, but others will be furloughed without pay until the impasse is resolved. This financial strain on federal employees, similar to the 2018-2019 funding lapse, underscores the importance of avoiding a shutdown. Both Democrats and Republicans have highlighted the potential consequences, such as border patrol agents continuing their work without pay and disruptions to air travel due to unpaid air traffic controllers and TSA personnel. The White House has also warned of national security risks and the financial burden on active-duty troops.
While the Senate works towards a bipartisan bill to keep the government open, finalizing a vote remains uncertain. Republican Senator Rand Paul has expressed intentions to delay any bill with additional Ukraine funding. Without unanimous consent to expedite consideration of the bill, it’s unclear if it can pass before the shutdown deadline. The pressure is mounting as the clock ticks down, and the country braces for potential disruptions in various sectors if a shutdown becomes a reality.