Congress has only six days left to strike a deal and fund the federal government before a potential shutdown on October 1st. However, guests on Sunday morning talk shows expressed doubt that a deal would be reached.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is urging House Republicans to reconsider their position on the approaching deadline. In an interview with CNN's State of the Union, Buttigieg stated, "This is something that can and should be prevented. House Republicans need to come to their senses and ensure that the government keeps running."
Democrats are pointing to a previous agreement between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) regarding spending levels. However, it seems that Republicans are now distancing themselves from that agreement.
Buttigieg emphasized that the administration's primary focus is getting House Republicans to honor the agreement made with President Biden. He stated, "The Senate is ready to go; the administration is ready to go." When asked if a shutdown was inevitable, Buttigieg firmly responded, "It can't be. We can't let it be. This is no way to run the government."
Although many GOP lawmakers express a desire to avoid a shutdown, a small group of them has been blocking any temporary funding measures. Last week, House Republicans attempted to pass a temporary funding extension but were unsuccessful. In the upcoming week, the House plans to address separate spending items, while the Senate is expected to draft its own short-term spending bill.
Government Shutdown Looms as Congress Grapples with Budget Approval
As the deadline for the approval of a government budget approaches, tensions are rising on Capitol Hill. Rep. Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.), a vocal opponent of a continuing resolution, argues that such a measure would essentially neglect the responsibilities of lawmakers to balance the budget. "We're sticking to our guns," says Burchett. "But somehow, we're being portrayed as the bad guys simply because we prioritize fiscal responsibility."
The implications of a potential government shutdown are significant. Federal employees may face furloughs, crucial economic data like the September jobs report could be delayed, and institutions such as the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. may be forced to close temporarily, as they did during the previous shutdown in 2018-19.
Rep. Tony Gonzales (R., Texas) acknowledges that he does not advocate for a shutdown; however, he maintains that a continuing resolution is an inadequate solution to the current impasse. Gonzales argues, "Continuing resolutions don't solve the problem. If you give Congress more time, they'll simply take advantage of it. Time alone does not yield solutions."
Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.) expresses optimism that the House can avoid a shutdown altogether. He emphasizes that it is not an inevitable outcome. However, Clyburn criticizes Rep. Kevin McCarthy for appearing to withdraw support for the deal reached with the administration, claiming that a minority of individuals within McCarthy's party seems to be dictating the course of action. "The tail wagging the dog is not how things should be done," Clyburn asserts.
In these challenging times, it is imperative that our lawmakers find common ground and strive towards finding responsible solutions for the American people and the nation's fiscal health.