Feb 26, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Senators scramble to avoid shutdown

Reporters follow U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as he walks to his office at the U.S. Capitol Building

Reporters follow U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as he walks to his office. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate leaders on Monday said there was just enough time to avoid a partial government shutdown by the end of the week, but major roadblocks remain in the way of a deal.

Why it matters: Lawmakers have yet to reach a deal to keep the government functioning ahead of Friday's deadline.

  • They said they made progress in talks over the weekend, but don't expect an agreement to be reached until Tuesday at the earliest.
  • A sticking point in the negotiations for appropriators right now is the inclusion of "poison pill" policy riders attached to some of the spending bills, a source familiar with the talks told Axios.
  • The motivation from both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate to avoid a shutdown stands in contrast to some House Republican members who may embrace such a move.

What they're saying: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear that the ball is in the court of House Republicans to work to avoid a shutdown.

  • "Unfortunately, the temptation to choose chaos and disorder, instead of cooperation, will be strong for some here in the Capitol," Schumer said from the Senate floor on Monday.
  • Senate Republican whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters he thought lawmakers were "very close" to an agreement to potentially avoid a shutdown.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters that Congress would not allow a shutdown to happen.

What's next: Congressional leaders will meet with President Biden on Tuesday at the White House to talk about government funding and a national security package that includes aid to Ukraine.

  • A government shutdown would start this weekend without the spending bills passed or a short term funding package
  • The government would go into a full shutdown a week later.
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