Government shutdown looms with no agreement in sight and only 3 days until Sept. 30 deadline
Federal appropriations run dry on September 30 at midnight, which is the end of the government's fiscal year. Democrats during the budget debates on the House floor have blamed the Trump-era tax cuts of the deficit.
A government shutdown is on the horizon with no FY2024 budget agreement in sight only 3 days before the end of the fiscal year.
Federal appropriations run dry on Saturday, September 30 at midnight.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are advocating to revert back to a domestic spending level of $1.47 trillion, which is about $120 billion less than the debt ceiling compromise that President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy previously reached in May.
Given the thin Republican majority in the chamber, McCarthy needs the support of House conservatives to move an appropriations bill across the finish line unless he relies on votes from moderate Democrats.
The Problems Solvers Caucus, which consists of moderate Democrats and Republicans, released yesterday a framework for a spending bill that they think could pass in the GOP-led House and Democratic-led Senate with bipartisan support.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) hasn't said if a spending bill would be put to a floor vote on Wednesday, given a lack of support from House conservatives for any spending bill that contains additional funding for the war in Ukraine. Conservatives have argued that Ukraine funding should be voted on separate from the general domestic appropriations bill.
Senate Democrats proposed a 45-day temporary funding bill in the absence of a year-long bill but Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said that was dead-on-arrival in the House since it contains funding for the Ukraine war and not enough for border security.
“The first thing I’ll tell you is there’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine. It’s not there,” he told reporters in a video posted by The Recount on X, formerly Twitter.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) has said conservatives want to see spending levels lower than the deal McCarthy previously hatched with Biden, even if it leads to a government shutdown. The deal, formally titled the Fiscal Responsibility Act, extended the nation's debt limit for one-year by about $1.5 trillion and returned federal domestic spending to "pre-inflationary" fiscal year 2022 levels.
"I'm not a shutdown cheerleader by any means. But to me, what's extreme is a $33 trillion debt with $2 trillion annual deficits on top in an era of rising interest rates, where this debt is going to have to be refinanced because it's coming off of low interest financing, and it's going to be refinanced at a higher rate," he said on the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV program. "That is going to create major cashflow problems for our country. We're going to be paying more in interest on our national debt and the $886 billion that we're currently spending on our military."
The legislation also included a limit on the growth of spending to 1% per year. At the time of its passage, House conservatives voted against it, arguing that it should have gone further to limit spending, citing the growing national debt.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) said Democrats should vote in favor reducing spending, given that there isn't a recession, a war or a health emergency.
"They're running a $2 trillion deficit, when there's literally no reason to run the deficit. And now we've got $33 trillion in debt and the interest rate on that debt is no longer two and a half percent. Now, it's 5%," he said on the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV program on Wednesday evening. "We cannot ignore the deficit. We cannot ignore the debt. We do it at the peril of the next generation."
Scott noted that Democrats during the budget debates on the House floor have blamed the Trump-era tax cuts of the deficit.
"We had more tax revenue than we've ever had in history of the country after those tax cuts were passed," he said. "And now those tax cuts are going to expire in 2025 and so the next election to me, you know, it's about the economy."
Scott suggested a 30-day temporary spending bill with the provisions of the border security measures in H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023. He predicted that most Americans would support that type of spending bill.
"Shutting down the government doesn't help anybody. We certainly lose on it politically," he said. "There's only so far you can cut the budget in 30 days anyway."