Congressional Members Work to Avert Looming Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Looks like there won’t be a government shutdown. Just a couple of days before the deadline, congressional leaders reached a temporary agreement to keep the lights on. 

They’re extending the dates to March 8th for some spending bills and March 22nd for the remaining spending bills. The House passed the temporary spending bill and if everything goes according to plan, the Senate could vote on this as early as Thursday.  

Congress has been unable to reach a final government spending deal for months. They’ve had to continuously pass these temporary spending bills because many House far-right Republicans have been demanding even more budget cuts. That’s something we spoke with Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) about.  

“It’s very frustrating and it’s two words here: House Republicans,” said Sen. Casey. “House Republicans are to blame for this. They have been playing games with government funding now, month after month after month. They should work with Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and House Democrats, sort of three caucuses never want to shut the government down to only one caucus that wants to and we can’t allow that to happen.” 

Now that they’ve tackled this spending bill, another big one is looming over their heads: the national security supplemental bill. It’s a separate spending bill that would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and humanitarian needs for Gaza.  

They’ve been at odds about that bill. A bipartisan group of Senators reached an agreement to include changes to the border policy in that supplemental legislation but it was quickly squashed by Republicans. Former President Donald Trump said he didn’t support that legislation because he wanted to keep border policy as a main issue for the election. Other House Republicans said the proposed border policies wouldn’t solve the problem at the border.