(VitalNews.org) – The United States government faces a potential shutdown as staunch disagreement on spending remains between both the Democratic and Republican parties, but also amongst the Republican members. Republicans, who currently hold a slim majority of 221 – 212 in the House, have found themselves split on the matter of spending, with some trying to keep spending to $1.47 trillion – the same level as in 2022 – while House Speaker McCarthy previously agreed to a budget of $1.59 billion with President Biden in May.
Six Republican House members have created a draft spending deal that looks unlikely to pass in either the Senate or the House, facing opposition from both Democrats and Republican colleagues. The group of six comprises three members of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus and three from the more centrist Main Street Caucus, who hoped that their short-term offer would be welcomed as a compromise between competing demands.
Late on Sunday, September 17, the group revealed their attempted stop-gap deal that would allow the government to remain open until October 31, allowing more time for further negotiations to take place. The proposed bill leaves the budget for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs untouched but cuts other agency spending by eight percent. It also aims to strengthen the border between Mexico and the United States and includes tougher restrictions on immigration.
One other difference between the proposed bill and President Biden’s offering is the lack of funding for the war in Ukraine. The White House’s proposed budget included $40 billion to be earmarked for responses to natural disasters, but also for Ukraine’s defensive efforts against the Russian invasion.
In order for this bill to pass in the House, it would need to win 218 votes. It is unlikely that any Democrat member would vote in favor, making it necessary for nearly all Republican members to vote in support. Already, three Republican members are reported to have signaled their opposition to the bill, leaving its success in the House in doubt. Even the bill makes it unscathed through the Republican-controlled House, it would need to pass the Senate, which is currently operating under Democrat control. If no deal can be agreed by October 31, the government will enter its fourth shutdown in only a decade.
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