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As Federal Shutdown Nears, US House Rejects Spending Bill

 


Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a short-term spending measure on Friday, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown when funding expires at midnight on Sunday.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued that passing a short-term funding deal was crucial for border security and to provide lawmakers with time to negotiate spending priorities. However, the measure was defeated, with the most conservative members of the Republican Party opposing it.

McCarthy later stated that another spending bill from the Senate had no chance of gaining House approval. As a result, a government shutdown appears increasingly inevitable, with lawmakers clashing over the size of the budget, aid for Ukraine, immigration controls at the U.S.-Mexico border, and social welfare programs.

President Joe Biden blamed hard-line Republicans for the looming shutdown, expressing concern about a group of "MAGA Republicans" seeking fundamental changes to the system.

The Senate is working on a seven-week funding plan to keep the government open until mid-November, allocating funds for Ukraine and disaster relief. However, this legislation faces resistance from conservatives in the House.

A government shutdown could cost the U.S. economy $26 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.

Shutdowns have occurred several times in the past decade, lasting anywhere from a day or two to 35 days during former President Donald Trump's administration. Such events are chaotic but eventually result in compromise.

McCarthy had reached a deal with Biden on spending levels for fiscal 2024, but some House Republicans are now demanding further spending cuts, which could jeopardize McCarthy's speakership.

Ultimately, it may require a deal with House Democrats to pass spending bills, angering some hard-right Republicans who oppose compromise and bipartisanship. Biden suggested that McCarthy is choosing between retaining his speakership and American interests.

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