Clashes over the budget risk a partial shutdown of the US government
The US government is on the brink of a partial shutdown if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives fails to agree on a federal budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on October 1. Some Republicans have even threatened to impeach House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In less than a week, the US government risks a partial shutdown if Congress does not reach a deal on federal spending, which has highlighted the rifts within Republicans.
A group of hard-line conservatives has threatened to impeach House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after he and President Joe Biden struck a spending compromise earlier this year to avoid defaulting on government debt.
"It's happening because Republican lawmakers can't even agree among themselves. We must remember that Mr. McCarthy and President Biden reached a difficult agreement for all parties. Such was the case for our agency. It means cutting some programs that we wanted to implement, some funds would be used to improve roads, bridges and airports. But we accepted the agreement made at the beginning of the year. We're asking Republicans to honor this agreement," said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The same group of Republicans wants deep cuts to domestic spending as well as to US support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
President Biden hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House last week after speeches they made at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. President Biden pledged continued unwavering support for Ukraine.
"The people of Ukraine are steeled for this battle and the United States will continue to stand with you."
Mr. McCarthy included $300 million in funding for Ukraine in a defense spending bill that must be approved by the House of Representatives. But it is unlikely to win the approval of hard-line Republicans.
"I will be with Mr. McCarthy every day, and of course we still have time, but he is in a very difficult position because opponents keep telling him not to bring bipartisan bills to a vote, not to use the votes of Democrats to avoid the shutdown. But they are using the Democrats' votes to trigger the shutdown. This group of Republicans is voting with Nancy Pelosi against the Republican bills that have come up for a vote," said Republican lawmaker Mike Turner.
Mr McCarthy's party has a slim majority in the House of Representatives. Opposition from five Republicans is enough to block any legislation the majority tries to pass. Lawmakers will again try to avoid a partial government shutdown, which could happen after midnight on Oct. 1 if lawmakers fail to agree on even short-term funding.