The United States is on the brink of a federal government shutdown after hard-right Republicans in Congress rejected a longshot effort to keep offices open as they fight for steep spending cuts and strict border security measures that Democrats and the White House say are too extreme.
With no deal in place by midnight Saturday, federal workers will face furloughs, more than 2 million active-duty and reserve military troops will work without pay and programs and services that Americans rely on from coast to coast will begin to face shutdown disruptions.
The Senate will be in for a rare Saturday session to advance its own bipartisan package that is supported by Democrats and Republicans and would fund the government for the short-term, through Nov. 17.
But even if the Senate can rush to wrap up its work this weekend to pass the bill, which also includes money for Ukraine aid and U.S. disaster assistance, it won’t prevent an almost certain shutdown amid the chaos in the House. On Friday, a massive hard-right revolt left Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s latest plan to collapse.
“Congress has only one option to avoid a shutdown — bipartisanship,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky echoed the sentiment, warning his own hard-right colleagues there is nothing to gain by shutting down the federal government.
“It heaps unnecessary hardships on the American people, as well as the brave men and women who keep us safe,” McConnell said.
The federal government is heading straight into a shutdown that poses grave uncertainty for federal workers in states all across America and the people who depend on them — from troops to border control agents to office workers, scientists and others.