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McCarthy says work continues to avoid government shutdown

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy can only afford to lose four GOP votes when he presents a continuing resolution to keep the government open.
McCarthy says work continues to avoid government shutdown
Posted at 11:22 AM, Sep 20, 2023

The nation is inching closer to a government shutdown. The federal government will run out of money to operate if Congress does not take action by Sept. 30. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy addressed reporters on Wednesday, noting that negotiations are ongoing. 

The Republican leader can only afford to lose four GOP votes when he presents a continuing resolution to keep the government open. A key procedural vote to advance the bill was postponed on Tuesday, a sign that it may not have the full support of his party. 

“The game is not over,” McCarthy said Wednesday morning at the Capitol.

McCarthy is walking a political tightrope. He could be forced to appease far-right members of his parties who he disagrees with on a number of issues, including funding for Ukraine. McCarthy could also negotiate with Democrats, but that could anger some Republicans and lead to calls for him to resign as speaker of the House. 

Knowing what's at stake, McCarthy said he likes a challenge. 

What happens in a government shutdown?

A government shutdown will have a major impact across the country. Thousands of federal workers would be told not to show up to work until Congress approves the funding to reopen the government. Employees who provide essential services, like air traffic controllers, would be forced to work, but won't get paid until the shutdown is over. 

According to Brookings, Americans could also see a disruption in services, such as application processing for passports or small business loans. The institution notes that Social Security payments would not be disrupted, but people could experience delays when trying to get information from the Social Security Administration. 

The last government shutdown occurred in 2019.


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