Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer has emphasized his commitment to bipartisanship as the key to averting a government shutdown. He believes that the Senate's temporary funding bill stands a chance of passing even in a divided House. However, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has indicated that there is insufficient support for the bipartisan legislation among his fellow House members. In response, McCarthy intends to introduce a stopgap bill crafted by GOP members to the Senate this Friday.
Schumer has criticized McCarthy for prioritizing the interests of the far-right over the welfare of the nation, stating, "He should be focusing on the [stopgap bill] rather than risking a government shutdown by appeasing the hard right in a partisan manner that could lead to such an outcome. The bottom line is that if they bring our bill to the floor, it would garner sufficient support."
While the Senate has already moved forward with its version of the stopgap bill through a test vote, the House is pursuing a different course. The Senate's proposal would maintain current government funding levels until November 17, including provisions for over $6 billion in Ukraine aid and $6 billion in disaster relief. Nevertheless, numerous House Republicans oppose allocating additional funds to Ukraine, especially within a bill designed to keep the government operational.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backs the Senate's legislation, asserting that it aligns with the best interests of both the Senate and the nation. However, he refrains from commenting on the House's resistance to the bill, stating, "I won't offer any advice to the Speaker on how to manage the House." Some Senate Republicans are contemplating introducing amendments to the bill that address border security concerns.
With only three days left until the government shutdown deadline, the prospect of a shutdown appears increasingly likely. Schumer underscores the necessity of a bipartisan approach and cautions that McCarthy's persistent partisanship could precipitate a shutdown. Only time will reveal whether a compromise can be reached before it becomes too late.