McCarthy proposes short-term stopgap to avoid government shutdown

August 15, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on a Monday night conference call told fellow House Republicans he plans to take up a short-term stopgap funding plan to avoid a government shutdown in this fall.

Congress must sign off on a federal budget by midnight September 30, as the new fiscal year begins October 1, or face at least a partial government shutdown.

The deadline follows bumpy paths, to say the least, that eventually led to passing large financial legislative packages this year, including a raising of the debt ceiling  and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the military, amid protests, proposed social issues-based amendments, and “no” votes from members of the GOP’s conservative House Freedom Caucus. 

Meanwhile, McCarthy has been balking at the discretionary spending figures that he agreed to in the debt ceiling deal that was passed in both chambers along bipartisan lines. 

However, his latest proposed continuing resolution aims at extending current government funding until early December, buying lawmakers a few extra months in order to to complete—and agree to—fiscal 2024 appropriations. On Monday’s conference call, McCarthy said his plan was to not have an extended deadline run all the way up to Christmas break.

House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said a stopgap proposal “makes a good deal of sense”—though he added, “I just hope that House Republicans will realize that any funding solution has to be bipartisan or they’ll risk shutting down the government.”

So far, the House has passed just one of its 12 annual appropriations bills. McCarthy said he plans to take up additional spending measure when the House returns from August break on September 12.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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