US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is followed by members of the news media after a Senate procedural vote on a short-term government funding bill, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 26 September 2023. EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

US Senate presents bipartisan plan to avoid government shutdown

New York, United States, Sept 26 (EFE).- Democratic and Republican leaders of the US Senate submitted a bill on Tuesday to fund the government until mid-November, avoiding a shutdown starting next week when current funding is expected to expire.

The proposal, which is expected to pass its first parliamentary procedure in the progressive-majority Senate on Tuesday, will also need the support of the conservative-controlled lower house, where a group of fractious Republican lawmakers are reluctant to accept a short-term solution to fund federal agencies.

The Senate measure includes $6 billion for Ukraine and another $6 billion to fund environmental emergencies.

The continuing resolution would keep the government running at least through November 17.

Both Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended the proposal and urged members of their respective parties to support it.

“This bill is a bridge towards cooperation and away from extremism,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

“I urge reasonable and patriotic members of both chambers can come together to pass this bridge CR (continuing resolution) and move forward, freed from the extremist partisans hell-bent on destroying faith in government” he added.

US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy walks to the House floor for a vote in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 26 September 2023. EFE/EPA/SHAWN THEW

What a Government Shutdown Means

If the government runs out of money on September 30, the end of the current fiscal year, most government agencies, museums, and national parks will close their doors, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be temporarily out of work without pay, which could have a ripple effect on the economy.

All eyes are on Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is trying to persuade the more radical wing of his party to pass the continuing resolution to fund the government in the short term.

On the other hand, the Freedom Caucus, a group sympathetic to former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), is pressuring to undo a deal reached in June between President Joe Biden and McCarthy, in which the debt limit was suspended in exchange for the White House agreeing to certain limits on government spending.

The Freedom Caucus did not like the deal and wants $120 billion more cuts than agreed to. EFE