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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

Government shutdown still looming

Government+shutdown+still+looming
Grace Schmidt

For the second time in 2023, Congress has averted a government shutdown. The short-term bill, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, was passed on Nov. 16, narrowly avoiding another shutdown. The Senate met on the night of Nov. 15 to pass the bill by an 87-11 majority.
The bill was delivered to President Biden for signature, a day after it was passed by the House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Biden signed the funding bill the following night. The plan offers a funding bridge until next year, when the House and Senate will be compelled to confront – and somehow overcome – their significant funding differences.
The spending package keeps government funding at current levels for approximately two months while a long-term agreement is negotiated. It divides the deadlines for implementing full-year appropriations bills into two dates: Jan. 19 for some federal agencies, including the Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs departments, and Feb. 2 for the Defense Department and remaining parts of the government; establishing two deadlines, as there is a chance of a partial government shutdown.
The bill notably excludes the White House’s almost $106 billion request for combat aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as aid to Palestinians and other supplemental demands.
The previous Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by his own party for negotiating with Democrats on the government shutdown bill just two months ago. However, the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, also worked with Democrats on this new government shutdown bill.
Tensions were increasingly high during discussions over the bill between both parties and even with the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson. Even though Johnson counted himself among the “arch-conservatives” of the House, he faced pushback from hardline conservatives who wanted to leverage the prospect of a government shutdown to extract steep cuts and policy demands.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa), the chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus who led the pushback commented, “We’re demanding of our leadership: Put the right bills on the floor with the right policy in them at the right levels, and then we’ll vote for them,” Perry added, “But don’t act like you’re actually trying to get to a correct spending level, and don’t act like you’re actually going to fight on these issues when you plan to fail.”
Johnson denied being frustrated by the setbacks, saying, “No, we’re not frustrated. This is part of the process. We’re working toward consensus.” Johnson instead focused on sending lawmakers home early for Thanksgiving after the vote succeeded.
Johnson later added, “This place is a pressure cooker,” given the House had been in Washington for 10 weeks straight.
Congress returned on Nov. 27 and 28 and was expected to focus on funding requests for Israel and Ukraine but the ousting of former Representative Santos took precedence. Republican senators demand Congress pass immigration and border measures, as well as further Ukraine assistance, but a bipartisan Senate group working on a possible compromise has been unable to reach an agreement.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that the Senate would try to move forward on both funding and border legislation in the coming weeks, but warned that it would require a compromise and urged House Speaker Johnson to negotiate with Democrats once more, which Johnson might be reluctant towards, not wanting to upset the far-right of his party and face the same fate as former Speaker McCarthy.

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About the Contributor
Grace Schmidt
Grace Schmidt, Writer
Hi! I'm Grace and this is my second year in journalism! I want to continue in college and in the future! It's been one of the best experiences of my life. I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan and even went to her concert, which was life altering. Currently I am in a fight to get the Spartan Scroll funding.
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