Friday, September 29, 2023

Border Security in Spotlight as Congress Seeks to Avert Shutdown; Speaker McCarthy Makes Democrats’ Agreement on Border Security the Key to Avoiding a Shutdown; Senate Republicans Demand Major Immigration Reform in Anti-Shutdown Bill

WSJ: Border Security in Spotlight as Congress Seeks to Avert Shutdown:
House Republicans moved to pass a series of annual spending bills late Thursday night, trying to show that the often fractured conference can stay united on legislation headed into any last-gasp negotiations with Democrats to avert a government shutdown this weekend.
The votes came as Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) is embracing border security as a possible way to break a congressional impasse over funding the government, saying it could be a key ingredient in any deal. Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate are hoping to strike a short-term funding deal to keep the government open for a matter of weeks or months while efforts to pass full-year legislation continue.
But deep divisions on spending levels, Ukraine funding and border enforcement, and intense pressure on GOP leaders from a group of hard-liners, have dimmed any hopes of a deal. McCarthy, by repeatedly having to appease his conservative wing, has moved farther away from any middle ground with Democrats. Many lawmakers are expecting at least a brief shutdown starting Sunday, when fiscal 2023 funding expires.
The bills up for a vote late Thursday would fund the Departments of State, Defense, Agriculture and Homeland Security, as the House tries to continue its march toward passing all 12 bills required to fund the government.
To date, the House has passed one of the 12 bills, while the Democratic-controlled Senate has passed none.
As has often been the case during McCarthy’s rocky speakership, none of the four votes was a sure thing, and fresh setbacks could greatly weaken his hand. The House was also set to vote on a measure restoring $300 million in Ukraine funds, which conservatives had demanded be stripped out of the main Defense bill.
With a shutdown just days away, McCarthy faces rising calls from lawmakers of both parties to spurn the demands of 10 to 20 conservatives who have repeatedly blocked progress toward an agreement. With a thin majority of 221-212 in the House, McCarthy has little room to maneuver to pass bills with just GOP support, and has so far resisted any outreach to House Democrats. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
McCarthy makes Democrats’ agreement on border security the key to avoiding a shutdown:
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday doubled down on demands that Democrats accept border security as part of a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this weekend.
He said President Biden should come to the negotiating table to talk about Republicans’ plans to shut down the border and keep the government open, not vice versa.
“So why am I asking the president to sit down? Because the Senate has not done their job,” said Mr. McCarthy, California Republican. “The Senate has not taken up the House’s work, so no, the president should step in and do something about it. Otherwise, the government will shut down.”
Congress has until midnight Saturday to pass a stopgap spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown. The Democrat-run Senate has leapfrogged the House in getting a bill on the floor, but Mr. McCarthy has signaled that he won’t take up that bill.
The speaker promised to bring the House’s stopgap legislation to a vote on Friday.
The House and Senate stopgap bills are wildly different and both are dead on arrival in the opposing chambers. The standoff all but cements a partial government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s bipartisan bill, which has support from GOP leadership in the Senate, would extend current government funding levels until Nov. 17 and includes over $6 billion in Ukraine aid and disaster funding.
But Mr. Schumer believed that bipartisanship was the key to avoiding a shutdown, and warned Mr. McCarthy to stop playing partisan politics with the deadline looming.
“You can’t do this in a partisan way,” Mr. Schumer said. “We’re waiting for a bipartisan approach to come from Speaker McCarthy. If he doesn’t come with a bipartisan approach, if he continues partisanship, He’s going to cause a shutdown. He knows that.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow link below to a relevant story:

+++++Senate Republicans demand major immigration reform in anti-shutdown bill+++++

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