US Congress Scrambles To Avoid Shutdown

US Congress Scrambles To Avoid Shutdown

Sept. 30, 2023, 7:53 a.m.

US lawmakers are scrambling to come to an agreement on paying the government's bills before funding runs out on Saturday. If they fail to avoid a shutdown, millions of federal employees and service members could see their paychecks disrupted.

Some hardline Republicans in the House of Representatives have been pushing for large spending cuts. They want to scale back funds for such things as healthcare, infrastructure projects and military aid to Ukraine.

On Friday, the White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, criticized Republicans for "their chaos," which she says is "threatening to push us into a shutdown." She said the hardliners are trying to force "devastating cuts" that will harm the economy and national security.

President Joe Biden said any move that would affect military personnel is a "disgrace." He added that lawmakers shouldn't be "playing politics while our troops stand in the breach."

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had hoped to get his fellow Republicans to agree on a bill that would fund the government until at least mid-November. However, both parties rejected the package in a vote in the House on Friday.

McCarthy said, "I do not want our military not to be paid, border agents not to be paid. Why should they be punished because our President ignores the problems?"

The last government shutdown, in 2018, lasted more than a month. In addition to federal employees and military personnel, Americans could see disruptions in food assistance, education and disaster response.

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