Political maneuvers are kicking into high gear this week as both sides of the aisle in Congress try to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.
Democrats and their Republican allies want a green light for all spending while some Republicans are standing in the way. That has caused more division in the process as budget bills need to be passed by Saturday.
The defense appropriations bill is always in the mix of these situations and this year is no different. Part of the bill includes a provision for $300 million to go toward training for Ukrainian soldiers. That is one item that Republican hard-liners oppose and don’t want it included in the overall bill.
From the Washington Examiner:
“I just voted NO to the rule for the Defense bill because they refused to take the war money for Ukraine out and put it in a separate bill,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said in a social media post.
The tactic here is to force a vote on the Ukraine money outside the overall defense appropriations bill. It looks like Republican leadership is caving to the hard demands from its party members.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he will strip money meant for training Ukrainian soldiers from the defense appropriations bill and hold a separate vote on it. He expects a separate vote on the Ukraine aid to pass with majority support for the provision.
McCarthy’s tactic appears to be an attempt to appease members of his conference in order to pass financial legislation and try to avoid a government shutdown. McCarthy’s goals may actually cut some spending from last year and possibly get the bills voted on and sent over to the Senate by Tuesday.
Expectations are that these measures that appease Republicans on the far right won’t avoid a shutdown this weekend. The Senate isn’t expected to accept the bills at the spending level the House determines. This will prompt the need for a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The Democrat-controlled Senate has made it clear that they want a clean continuing resolution — a stop-gap funding bill without policy riders or spending cuts attached.
McCarthy has been battling members of the GOP on the appropriations bill issue because he believes that if “you shut down, you’re in a weaker position” politically.
“I just believe if you’re not funding the troops, and you’re not funding the border, it’s pretty difficult to think that you’re going to win in a shutdown,” McCarthy said.
Final numbers for the appropriations bill to keep all areas of the government funded is calculated to be about $1.5 trillion for the year.
- Hard-nosed Republicans vote to block government funding for next year.
- House Speaker McCarthy moves to adjust bills to get money approved.
- The Senate is not expected to agree with House as government shutdown looms.
Source: Washington Examiner