Government shutdown looms amid federal budget feud

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. is facing a possible government shutdown next week because lawmakers are at odds over the federal budget.

Lawmakers have the power to avoid the shutdown but have so far failed to avert the crisis.

“They want to raise $5 trillion and spend it in the next month. They have a maxed-out credit card and want to get a new limit to go max out another one,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said of Democrats.

House Republicans voted against the bill that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open.

“It’s quite appalling because when Republican presidents were there, we always had bipartisan support for that,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The fight is headed to the Senate where the measure could fail, prompting both a government shutdown and a default on U.S. loans, which could greatly impact Americans and the services they receive from the government. A shutdown also has the potential to damage the greater American economy.

“Republicans won’t agree to pay our past bills, the debt we owe,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY) replied, “Give me a break.”

Republicans refuse to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling because they oppose Democrats’ proposed agenda that aims to spend $3.5 trillion on green energy investments and measures like universal preschool and childcare subsidies for lower income families.

But that spending plan is in danger of failing anyway because not all Democrats are on board.

Nevertheless, Republicans say they’ll oppose raising the debt ceiling on principal.

“If they want to tax, borrow and spend historic sums of money without our input, they’ll have to raise the debt limit without our help,” said McConnell.

“They can do it if they want to do it, and they should. But I’m certainly not going to help them do it,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

Republicans say they would support a standalone bill to keep the government open. While Democrats can technically raise the debt ceiling alone, they don’t have enough votes to do so because their own party can’t agree on the spending plan and reconciliation package.

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