Congress Scrambles to Steer Clear of Looming Government Shutdown!

Congress is currently on its summer break, but they left the important task of funding the federal government unfinished. Now they only have about a month to get it done when they return in September. This is a major task that won’t be easy no matter which route they choose. As usual, they could come to an agreement and fund the government, or they could pass a temporary measure until they can strike a deal.

The Senate Appropriations Committee made some progress last week by approving all 12 of their government funding bills. This is the first time they’ve been able to do that in five years. They sent the last four spending bills to the Senate floor, including funding for important departments like the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services. Senators Patty Murray and Susan Collins, who lead their respective parties on the committee, said there is still much more work to be done.

Republicans and Democrats have been able to come to an agreement on the overall spending levels for the bills. There will be small increases in defense spending, but it’s still a point of contention for defense hawks who want even more money. They were able to reach a bipartisan deal to add on extra emergency spending for defense and nondefense areas.

The House, on the other hand, is causing some problems. They have a group of hard-line conservatives who are opposing the spending bills and want to cut even more spending. They’re tacking on amendments that Democrats strongly oppose, like limiting access to abortion and banning funding for hormone therapy for transgender veterans. This is causing a clash between the two chambers and raises the possibility of a government shutdown.

Congress will have three weeks to pass a federal budget when they return in September. If they can’t come to an agreement, they could pass a temporary measure to keep funding at current levels while they continue negotiations. However, some conservatives are already ruling out that option and are willing to let the government shut down in order to get their way. It’s shaping up to be a contentious battle over government spending, and only time will tell how it will all play out.

Written by Staff Reports

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