Домой United States USA — Political Congress averts government shutdown with last-minute scramble

Congress averts government shutdown with last-minute scramble


Lawmakers avoid closing the government, but Ukraine funding — and McCarthy’s position — now may be at risk
A last-ditch effort on Capitol Hill Saturday staved off a government shutdown with less than three hours to spare, as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in an abrupt strategic reversal, offered a plan that won the support of nearly all House Democrats and most Republicans to keep the government open through mid-November.
The legislation, which the Senate then passed with broad bipartisan support, marked a stunning reversal after many in Washington expected the government to close at midnight following several failed attempts by House Republicans to agree on spending legislation over the past week.
Ultimately, House Democrats supported McCarthy’s eleventh-hour proposal for a 45-day “continuing resolution” including disaster relief funds, an extension of a federal flood insurance program and reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. All but one Democrat voted to support the legislation while 90 Republicans voted against it, resulting in a vote of 335-91.
The Senate passed the bill 88-9, with all nine “no” votes coming from the GOP.
It was a major victory for Democrats, who had uniformly opposed previous attempts by Republicans this week to pass measures that would have dramatically cut spending. It came only after McCarthy tried repeatedly to craft legislation that would attract enough House Republicans by slashing spending, falling short despite giving in to many of the demands of his most hard-line conservative members.
“We’re on the path to avoiding an extreme MAGA Republican shutdown,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said after the House passed the short-term extension. “It was a victory for the American people and a complete and total surrender by right-wing extremists who throughout the year have tried to hijack the Congress.”
However, the resolution does not include any funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia, a major priority for Democrats, sparking immediate calls for separate legislation to provide money to Kyiv. The legislation was briefly held up in the Senate by Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), who wanted assurances there would be a prompt vote on a supplemental aid package for Ukraine.
A White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, said Democrats expect McCarthy to bring a stand-alone bill for Ukraine aid to the House floor. The official declined to provide additional details, but pointed to McCarthy’s numerous public statements expressing support for Ukraine.
“Majorities in both parties support Ukraine aid, and doing more is vital,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said after the votes.
McCarthy’s gambit temporarily staved off a government shutdown, but it also appeared to endanger his tenure as speaker. Far-right Republicans have been plotting for days to oust McCarthy from his leadership post, and they were furious Saturday when he chose to rely on Democratic votes to keep the government open.
“Every single Democrat in the House, except for one, voted for Kevin McCarthy’s ploy to continue Nancy Pelosi’s budget and Joe Biden’s policies,” Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale (R-Mont.) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Are we sure Hakeem Jeffries is not the Speaker?”
In order to win the votes of hard line conservatives to become speaker in January, McCarthy agreed to lower, from five to one, the number of members required to force a vote on ousting him from the position. If McCarthy’s Republican adversaries decide to push forward on such an effort next week, the results would be highly unpredictable and could throw the House into further turmoil.
The spending measure headed for approval Saturday would fund the government through Nov. 17, meaning lawmakers will have to grapple with another round of negotiations to avoid a shutdown just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Continue reading...