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What are the chances of a government shutdown?

The federal government will run out of money at the end of this week if Congress does not act before then.
What are the chances of a government shutdown?
Posted at 8:18 AM, Nov 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-13 11:06:46-05

Funding runs out for the federal government at the end of Friday, which would cause a government shutdown unless Congress acts in time.

A shutdown would close national parks, furlough hundreds of thousands of government workers and force many federal employees to work without pay. So how realistic is a shutdown by the end of this week?

Back in September, the threat of a shutdown was high because former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was at risk of losing his job if he took the wrong course. Ultimately, he lost his job while averting a shutdown.

With government funding set to expire Nov. 17, the shutdown threat, as the week begins, is a bit lower from two months ago simply because the political pressure on the speaker isn't as high.

But the threat of a shutdown is still there because this is Speaker Mike Johnson's first big leadership test. 

SEE MORE: House Republicans propose 2-step package to avoid partial shutdown

Congress is not in a position right now to pass a long-term budget solution by Friday, so proposed ideas are short-term fixes. Many Democrats want something known as a clean continuing resolution that keeps government funding at current levels and "kicks the can" until December or perhaps early next year.

Johnson hasn't ruled that out entirely, but his team has floated something known as a "laddered CR." While a clean CR funds every government agency until a future date, a laddered approach would fund some agencies until one date and others until another date. The purpose of this would be to encourage a long-term budget to eventually pass. Democrats have widely criticized this.

There are other disagreements too to start the week,  like whether to include aid to Israel or Ukraine in a bill to keep the government open. The White House would like that, but some House Republicans have previously criticized allocating more Ukraine aid and suggested aid to Israel be offset with cuts to the IRS, positions President Joe Biden disagrees with. 


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