Closure threat continues amid some signs of budget movement | ET REALITY

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy answers a question from the media at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, September 18, 2023. To avoid a government shutdown, Speaker McCarthy introduced a continuing resolution, but more than a dozen tough right-wing Republican members of the House said they would not support the compromise. Image: SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

House Republicans have shown some signs of progress on a budget measure to avoid a partial government shutdown after Sept. 30, but their plan would provide only a one-month reprieve and there is no certainty it will even pass. by the House, much less by the Senate.

A measure being drafted that could be brought to a floor vote in the coming days would extend the agency’s funding through October with a 1 percent revenue cut from current fiscal year levels. However, it would exempt the Department of Defense and the VA, which would mean a cut of about 8 percent for all other agencies.

Those funding levels, plus various policy provisions in areas such as immigration policy, are designed to attract votes from the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about three dozen far-right Republicans. They also favor only a short-term extension in order to create pressure to enact periodic appropriations bills that reflect those positions.

However, several members of even that group have already said the provisions don’t go far enough for them, calling into question whether the bill could pass, given what would almost certainly be unanimous opposition from Democrats.

If the bill passes the House, it would face almost certain rejection in the Senate. There, a substantial number of Republicans have joined the Democratic majority in moving forward with spending bills with few policy changes and that mirror the funding levels in the debt ceiling law enacted in the spring. There is also bipartisan support in the Senate for adding funding above current levels for disaster relief and aid to Ukraine, as the White House has requested.

The Senate will most likely send back to the House a substitute bill that reflects those positions and also potentially extends funding until late November or December to allow more time to work on the 12 regular appropriations bills. for fiscal year 2024. There is little chance that Congress will pass many, if any, of them by the end of October.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on three of his bills this week, but the House has not even approved all of his bills at the committee level. And leaders there have already had to delay a planned floor vote on two of those that were approved by the committee, after objections from the Freedom Caucus.

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