Schumer: Congress will pass short-term funding bill in September to avoid shutdown

Schumer after speaking with McCarthy: "We urge our House colleagues to emulate the Senate. The only way we're going to avoid a government shutdown is by bipartisan support in both both houses"

Published: August 15, 2023 11:35am

Updated: August 15, 2023 12:48pm

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday the House and Senate will pass a short-term government funding bill in September that will last "until early December" as a way to avoid a government shutdown.

The deal – known as a "continuing resolution" or "CR" – would come amid a standoff in which House conservatives are  pushing to cut federal spending below the levels President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to in their debt ceiling deal.

Schumer said he spoke with McCarthy at the end of July about government funding for fiscal 2024, given that current appropriations expire on September 30.

"I thought it was a good thing that he recognized that we need a CR in September," Schumer said on a press call Tuesday. "I'm supportive of that. As you've seen, again, the Senate appropriators have worked in a bipartisan way to report all 12 bills out, every one of them had near unanimity, but bipartisan work.

"And so a CR until early December provides time for consideration of these bipartisan bills. We urge our House colleagues to emulate the Senate. The only way we're going to avoid a government shutdown is by bipartisan support in both houses."

Schumer said he's "confident" that Congress can "avoid a government shutdown" with a bipartisan appropriations process.

However, he warned that House Republicans, particularly the conference's most conservative wing, including the Freedom Caucus, could send the country into a partial government shutdown if they "insist on doing this partisan."

"It's extreme and gets no Democratic votes," Schumer said. "They're heading us towards a shutdown."

Nevertheless, Congress hopes to put some of appropriations bills to final votes amid the short-term process, the New York Democrat also said.

Schumer declined to discuss the specifics of the discussions about passing a supplemental appropriations bill, which would include Ukraine aid and disaster aid in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires. 

However, he said: "We want to get a supplemental done as quickly as possible."

He said the Biden administration has requested $13 billion in "additional disaster relief funding" in the supplemental for Maui.

"I am fully supportive of that and will do everything I can to get it passed in the Senate," Schumer said.

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