Shutdown imminent as House, Senate hold split courses on US government funding

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a stopgap funding bill, Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Saturday, just hours before the federal government is due to begin its fourth partial shutdown in a decade.

The move will test McCarthy’s narrow 221-212 majority, where multiple hardline conservatives have opposed the idea of a short-term bill known as a continuing resolution or CR, and could lead to a challenge to McCarthy’s position as speaker.

The maneuver will require Democratic votes, a fact that will anger some party hardliners who had wanted to pass a bill without Democratic support.

Even if the House passes the bill, there may not be enough time for the Democratic-majority Senate to vote on the measure and for President Joe Biden to sign it into law before funding expires at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401 GMT) Sunday (October 1).

House Republican lawmakers blocked their own CR just Friday (September 29), which included multiple conservative policy additions that Democrats opposed. Those measures will not factor in the new bill, which would extend funding for 45 days.

Infighting among Republicans who control the House by a 221-212 margin has pushed the United States to the brink of its fourth partial shutdown in a decade, as the chamber has been unable to pass legislation that would keep the government open beyond the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.