Congress Careens Toward Partial Government Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks with reporters following the weekly policy lun
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images, Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A breakdown during negotiations on a government funding deal means Congress may quickly find itself near a partial government shutdown.

Government funding for many government agencies will dry up at the end of Friday. Talks between leaders broke down as lawmakers tried to draft the text for the four upcoming bills to draft, which includes the Agriculture, Energy, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bills.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter to fellow lawmakers, “Unfortunately, extreme House Republicans have shown they’re more capable of causing chaos than passing legislation,” Schumer wrote. “It is my sincere hope that … Speaker [Mike] JOHNSON will step up to once again buck the extremists in his caucus and do the right thing.”

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has faced pressure from conservatives to land serious policy wins in this latest funding battle; Republican negotiators want cuts to agriculture programs and limits on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spending, a ban on mail delivery for abortion medication, and a pilot program proposed by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) to restrict Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food purchasing.

Johnson has argued that Republicans negotiated in “good faith.”

“Our position is that of the American people and our mission is to take steps to rein in Democrats’ overspending and policies that are harming the economy, raising prices, and making everyday life harder for our constituents,” he said.

Congress also has to pass other appropriations bills by March 8, meaning there could be a full government shutdown if Congress fails to pass any appropriations bills. This could mean that Congress could punt this problem by passing a short-term spending bill, otherwise known as a continuing resolution (CR).

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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