Here's the latest on the potential government shutdown:
- The government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday if Congress doesn't act, a possibility that looks increasingly likely.
- Congress was in session today but has shown little public progress on breaking the logjam. Conservatives in the House have pushed for deep spending cuts that can't pass the Democratic-controlled Senate. And they're threatening Speaker Kevin McCarthy's job.
- Meanwhile, the Senate released a plan to keep the government funded through Nov. 17, along with some aid for Ukraine and FEMA funding. But it's unclear whether House Republicans will accept it.
- President Joe Biden said today he doesn't believe a shutdown is inevitable, calling on House Republicans to "do their job, fund the government."
- McCarthy suggested yesterday that a meeting with Biden would be "very important," but the White House has rejected that after the speaker blew up a previous spending agreement, saying the crisis is up to Republicans to fix.
- If the government does shut down, millions of federal workers and military personnel will lose their paychecks. Some essential workers, like TSA employees, will have to work without pay. But Social Security checks will continue to go out. Here's everything you need to know about how it might affect you.
Hakeem Jeffries says House Democrats ready to support Senate CR
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said House Democrats would provide "the lion's share of votes" to support the Senate's continuing resolution, or CR, if it comes up for a vote.
"We are calling for an up-or-down vote when the Senate sends over a bipartisan continuing resolution to fund the government and meet the needs of the American people," Jeffries, D-N.Y., told MSNBC's Joy Reid in an interview tonight.
"And if that happens, we will provide a substantial number of votes — the lion’s share of votes — and all we will need is a handful of so-called traditional Republicans to join with us in the best interest of the American people and avoid an extreme MAGA Republican shutdown that will that will hurt everyone."
The Senate has not yet voted on the CR, and McCarthy has criticized the Senate's bipartisan measure.
The Senate is done for the day — after passing a dress code resolution
The Senate has recessed for the day.
It will have a procedural vote tomorrow to move forward with the temporary government funding bill, which would postpone a shutdown until November.
The Senate is moving slowly, as it requires the support of all 100 senators to pass bills quickly, and Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., have said they'll object to speedy consideration of the short-term funding bill. Paul opposes the Ukraine aid, while Scott has expressed outrage that the Senate is pursuing a temporary bandage and not including more disaster recovery money.
Before it left for the day, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution establishing a dress code for men on the Senate floor.
“This is not the biggest thing going on in Washington today. It’s not even one of the biggest things going on in Washington today. But nonetheless, it’s a good thing,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on the floor.
McCarthy discusses apparent split between House and Senate GOP
Asked why he and McConnell do not seem to be on the same page with government funding, McCarthy said: "Mitch is not the majority over there. He’s got to work with Sen. Schumer."
He blasted Schumer for not including border security in the Senate's CR. Asked how much money or what policy would be enough for him on border security, McCarthy said he did not think that money "solves the problem," arguing that Biden's policies have "made the border wide open."
But McCarthy still faces criticism from his own party. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said she has had a "lot of frustrations" with the speaker.
"I am from South Carolina, and when you look a man in the eye and you shake his hand and you make a promise and you keep your end of the bargain and the other person doesn’t, you know, it’s not a good place to be in," Mace said of McCarthy.
House Republicans will meet tomorrow morning
The House Republican Conference has a meeting at 9 ET tomorrow morning at the Capitol Hill Club.
An off-campus morning meeting tends to mean they're discussing a political issue, because members are prohibited from using federal resources like House conference rooms for campaigns.
Jimmy Carter's 99th birthday celebrations may feel the impacts of a shutdown
Jimmy Carter’s 99th birthday is Sunday, which happens to be the day the government would shut down. Some celebrations planned to honor the longest-living U.S. president are being adjusted in anticipation of a potential shutdown.
Several properties associated with Carter’s life are part of the National Park Service, including his boyhood home and farm, his school and other family sites in Plains, Georgia. National parks have been closed during past shutdowns.
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, part of the National Archives, shifted its activities by a day from Sunday to Saturday to be sure festivities would not be lost to a funding crisis.
Also Saturday, Jimmy Carter Historical Park will display a birthday banner with signatures from locals and visitors, and there will be cupcakes.
If a shutdown is avoided, activities at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum will continue Sunday, including 99-cent admission in honor of the milestone.
A shutdown could halt D.C. weddings: Views from the Marriage Bureau
Couples looking to get married in Washington could be in for a wait for their nuptials if the government shuts down.
Because the nation’s capital is not a state, local courts in Washington are affected, and in past shutdowns, that has included marriages. Last time, the D.C. Council passed special legislation — the Let Our Vows Endure, or LOVE, Act of 2019 — to allow marriages to continue. But there’s no guarantee it will do so again.
As part of one of those couples planning a wedding for early October, I went with my fiancé to the Marriage Bureau on Wednesday afternoon to get a wedding license. About a dozen people were waiting in line, some murmuring about getting their licenses just in case Congress doesn’t get its act together.
Telaya Charles, who works at the Marriage Bureau, said that it was busier than a normal Wednesday and that couples had been coming in talking about the shutdown. Because the government is still open, a lot of agencies and city employees haven’t gotten much information about what will happen. But Marriage Bureau employees have heard tidbits from Hill staffers and reporters like me coming in to get marriage licenses just under the wire.
Despite worries about her own job and how long she could last if the shutdown goes beyond a few weeks, Charles was joking with couples, spreading some cheer in an uncertain time.
Natalie Kress and Tess Bartholomew got engaged in October and stopped by the Marriage Bureau on Wednesday, in part because of shutdown rumors. “I feel like it’s hard to miss when you live in the D.C. area,” Kress said, noting they both have friends who work in government who are “stressed.”
They’d always planned to go this week, Kress said. “But then, once we heard it was ramping up, we were like, all right, let’s just go today.” Bartholomew said: “The shutdown obviously expedited that for us. And they don’t expire, so there’s not really any point in us not getting when we know we can.”
Washington couples can get marriage licenses this week, but the city won’t process them after a ceremony if the government is shut down. That means that although our wedding is coming up, we may not be legally married for a while.
My fiancé asked Kress and Bartholomew how they felt about their marriage’s not being legally recognized if they get married during a shutdown.
“Oh, I’m living it up! I’m living it up,” Bartholomew joked.
CEA Chair Jared Bernstein warns a shutdown would hurt economic growth
Jared Bernstein, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said a variety of experts, including the CEA, have estimated that a government shutdown would reduce quarterly annualized economic growth by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points per week.
"Programmatic impacts from a shutdown would also cause unnecessary economic stress and losses that don’t always show up in GDP — from delaying Small Business Administration loans to eliminating Head Start slots for thousands of children with working parents to jeopardizing nutrition assistance for nearly 7 million mothers and children," Bernstein said in a statement.
Graham vows to push for border security funding after CR is passed
While Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he won't oppose the continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Nov. 17, he has signaled that he'll push for border security funding to be in the next package.
“There will be an effort to keep the government open probably till November,” Graham said, referring to the Senate’s CR. “In November we’ll have a chance to do things more thorough, but I promise you this: There’s not going to be a solution to keeping the government open and fully funded until there’s a solution to our border crisis.”
In November, "we’re going to need some funding and some policy changes for the border, and that will give us about six weeks to work out a package," he told NBC News.
Senate Republicans push for amendments to get House on board with their CR
Senate Republicans are pushing to hold votes on a group of amendments to the bipartisan stopgap bill that would fund the government until Nov. 17. It's an attempt to make the bill, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, more amenable to House Republicans, who have already threatened to reject it.
“We’re trying to figure out kind of an amendment strategy, and if we could get some good strong border policy attached to this at some point, I think it makes it not only easier here in the Senate, but also in the House,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of Republican leadership, told reporters.
The amendment votes would also try to shake free a time agreement so the Senate can finish the CR in time for the House to consider it before the funding deadline at the end of the day Saturday. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., have said they would object to speedy consideration of the bill in protest of various provisions in it.
“If they use all the procedural tools that are available to them, you know this could extend into the weekend for sure,” Thune said.
(Video) Federal workers, benefit recipients brace for government shutdown
Shutdown is not inevitable, Biden says
Asked by a reporter today if a government shutdown is inevitable, Biden said, "I don't think anything is inevitable in politics."
Before meeting with science and technology advisers, the president was also asked if there was anything that could be done to prevent a shutdown. “If I knew that, I would have done it already,” he said.
Biden closed out his remarks by calling on House Republicans to "do their job, fund the government." The president also pointed to the impact a shutdown could have on science: "If we have a government shutdown, a lot of vital work in science and health could be impacted from cancer research to food safety."
Biden: 'I agree with Mitch' on passing the Senate's CR
Biden said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he agrees with remarks by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in support of passing the chamber's continuing resolution.
McConnell spoke in favor of the Senate's CR today, arguing that if House Republicans shut down the government, they are also voting to defund the Border Patrol. “A vote against a standard, short-term funding measure is a vote against paying over a billion dollars in salary for Border Patrol and ICE agents working to track down lethal fentanyl and contain our open borders,” he said.
"You know, I agree with Mitch here. Why the House Republicans would want to defund Border Patrol is beyond me," Biden wrote on X, alongside a retweet of McConnell's remarks.
McConnell, one of the Republican senators to vote in favor of the CR to provide short-term funding for the government until Nov. 17, said: "Shutting down the government isn't an effective way to make a point."
Senate's CR was crafted to ensure it could pass both chambers, Murray says
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., defended the Senate's continuing resolution today amid GOP attacks as a bipartisan measure that was crafted to pass both chambers.
There is "absolutely no reason for a shutdown," Murray, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee that released the measure, told reporters this afternoon at the Senate Democrats' press conference. It is a "meticulously negotiated bipartisan bill" that can be "signed into law as soon as it's passed."
“Let us be clear: this is a bipartisan bill that we wrote to make sure it could pass the Senate and pass the House — as long as it is brought up for a vote. And we wrote it so that we could begin to address the urgent issues facing our country and avoid a reckless government shutdown while we work to pass our 12 bipartisan appropriations bills here in the Senate," Murray said.
She added that if any "extremists in the House" want to "force a shutdown," it will be more costly than "simply keeping the government open" and "working Americans will pay the price."
Everything you need to know ahead of a government shutdown
The U.S. is headed toward a government shutdown this weekend unless Congress takes action soon. Government funding expires when the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1, and lawmakers are still divided on spending levels and whether to give more aid to Ukraine.
As Congress debates a plan, government operations that Americans rely on and paychecks for millions of federal workers hang in the balance.
Here is what you need to know about what a government shutdown is and how it could affect you.
Buttigieg warns 'even a shutdown lasting a few days' could disrupt air travel
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned that air travel will likely be affected if Congress lets the government shut down, even for a couple days.
Speaking to reporters today, Buttigieg said House Republicans who are "comfortable" with a government shutdown should "explain themselves directly to all of the nonpartisan civil servants who make sure that planes land safely, who inspect trucks and railroads and pipelines to prevent disasters, who will have to go without pay."
For years, he said, the Transportation Department has faced a gap in air travel staffing for the Federal Aviation Administration that it's finally managed to make progress on.
A shutdown would mean immediately having to "stop training new air traffic controllers and furlough the other 1,000 controllers who are already in the training pipeline," he said. A shutdown would mean “increasing the chance that there’s going to be some issue that leads to disruptions like cancellations and delays for passengers."
"We have obviously seen a lot of disruptions to air traffic, especially last year. Now some of those are caused by weather, some of those were caused by airline issues, but a factor can be the availability of air traffic control staffing," Buttigieg added.
Democrats want to borrow money 'from their grandchildren,' Scalise says
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., condemned Democrats' government spending strategy, saying at a GOP press conference today that lawmakers resistant to spending cuts want to borrow money "from their grandchildren."
“By the way, it’s not borrowed money from ourselves. It’s borrowed money from our grandchildren," he said. "They're not paying for it today. They’re not paying for it tomorrow.”
Scalise also alleged that the White House and the Senate are ignoring the "border crisis." "You're seeing it on every mainstream media outlet, every media outlet is covering this crisis, because everyone in America knows it's a crisis and the president thinks that he hides from the issue," he said.
House Republicans are “going to be focusing on not just properly funding the government, but securing America’s border," he added.
How a government shutdown could impact the U.S. economy
See how long past government shutdowns lasted — and which parties were in power
Unless Congress acts soon, the federal government will shut down. Again.
Government funding runs out at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1, meaning Congress has just a few days to come up with a solution so that millions of federal workers don’t potentially lose out on getting paid.
Their fate rests mostly in the hands of McCarthy and his bickering caucus, which can’t agree on whether it’s more important to keep the government running or to pass drastic spending cuts demanded by his most conservative members.
In the past four decades, the government has shut down 20 times. There were some shutdowns in the 1970s that lasted more than a week, but subsequent ones were pretty short until 1995, when then-President Bill Clinton faced off against a Republican House and Senate that led to two shutdowns for a total of 26 days.
See how long the past government shutdowns lasted and which parties were in power and read the full story here.
Some Senate staffers taking bets...
Senate staffers were overheard in the Capitol yesterday betting on how long a government shutdown would last.
It’s unclear what — and how much — they were wagering but estimates of around 14 to 30 days for a shutdown were discussed among the group.
Meanwhile ... House Republicans are continuing their Hunter Biden investigation
The House Ways and Means Committee is holding an executive session this morning on “sensitive materials protected by section 6103 of the tax code” related to whistleblower allegations of “political interference in the investigation of Hunter Biden.”
Before the committee gaveled in, Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., said the session was being held to “consider additional evidence provided by the two IRS whistleblowers, Joseph Ziegler and Gary Shapley.”
Smith did not go into details but alleged that the information “reinforces the integrity of the whistleblower and the high regard in which they are held by their colleagues. And it brings to light new evidence that builds upon their prior testimony.”
We expect the executive session to last at least a couple of hours. Smith will hold a news conference this afternoon when it's over.
Scott wants to slow down the Senate's CR
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said that he plans to prevent the Senate from considering its continuing resolution as fast as it can.
The Senate needs unanimous agreement from all senators in order to expedite proceedings and prevent a government shutdown as the deadline nears.
"I don't know why this is so hard," Scott said. "We've had disasters around the country. ... Why don't we do our basic job, fund FEMA, right? This doesn't fully fund FEMA."
On top of pushing for more support for disaster relief in his state, Scott criticized the Senate CR for including relief for Ukraine, as the current agreement approves another $6 billion for the country's defense against Russia.
"I think it's despicable what Russia has done, but why do we do these in CRs?" he said.
McCarthy shifts blame to Democrats and Biden: 'Sit down with us'
As he spoke to reporters this morning, the speaker continued to shift blame onto Democrats and Biden as a possible government shutdown looms, and he also renewed his calls for a meeting with the president.
“Why don’t you sit down in meeting. Why aren’t you serious about making sure the government doesn’t shut down? The first thing I would do, I would sit down with us. I want to sit down with the president to secure that border," McCarthy said. “The president should step in and do something about it. Otherwise, the government will shut down.”
Asked if the Senate’s CR is a nonstarter in the House, McCarthy said: “I don’t see the support in the House.” He also said that he hopes to get the four appropriations bills that the House voted to move forward with last night done by tomorrow.
Tillis opposes the Senate's short-term, spelling trouble
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who rarely bucks his party leadership, is a no on the Senate CR, which he described as “a spending bill that is dead on arrival in the House.”
He voted to advance the shell bill last night, which will allow the Senate to take up its CR that would fund the government through Nov. 17 later this week. He now says proceeding with work on the bill “makes absolutely no sense.”
“It makes absolutely no sense for the Senate to waste the rest of this week voting on a spending bill that is dead on arrival in the House,” Tillis said. “In fact, it guarantees a shutdown. I will only vote for a bill viable in both chambers that will prevent a shutdown, which is why I would vote against the Schumer bill in its current form.”
This is a bad sign for even the upper chamber’s chances of averting a shutdown.
Why some House Republicans oppose the Senate's short-term funding bill
Several House Republicans have insisted that the short-term funding bill released by the Senate to keep money flowing until mid-November is a nonstarter in the lower chamber.
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., told reporters that without border security attached, “the government should not continue to be funded.” While Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., also said he will not support the Senate’s continuing resolution with the inclusion of Ukraine funding.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican and key McCarthy ally, told reporters that they’ve been working on changes to the Republican CR, including further spending cuts to garner more support from the hard-line members. Later, he said that the changes discussed during a meeting this morning make it harder for passage.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, called for its bipartisan continuing resolution to be brought to the floor through a discharge petition.
The caucus, chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., recently released an alternative short-term funding proposal, including funding for Ukraine, disaster relief and border security.
“We’re offering an opportunity for bipartisan landing spot,” Bacon said. “What they need is to have our bill as a discharge petition bill, then I would [sign on to a discharge petition].”
Johnson says he won't obstruct or support the Senate CR
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told reporters today that he would not obstruct nor support the Senate's short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week.
The Senate voted 77-19 yesterday to start debate on a bipartisan bill that would keep the money flowing until Nov. 17. Johnson was one of the 19 Republicans who voted against advancing the measure.
"I'm not going to do anything to obstruct it but I'm not gonna support it," he said.
Federal government shutdown could have tough consequences on Americans
Schumer tells McCarthy: 'You can stop it'
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaking on the chamber floor this morning, urged McCarthy to use bipartisanship to avert a government shutdown and alleged that he was not fulfilling his duties as House speaker.
"The only way out of a shutdown is bipartisanship, and by constantly adhering to what the hard right wants, you’re aiming for a shutdown," Schumer said. "They want it, you know it, you can stop it."
Schumer noted that the Senate voted yesterday to advance a short-term funding measure to avert a shutdown at the end of the week by a 77-19 vote. All 19 who opposed the measure were Republicans.
"It shows that in the Senate both parties can work through our differences for the betterment of the country," he said. "But in the House, Republicans have tried everything but bipartisanship."
Schumer said a shutdown would cause "grave harm" for communities across the country.
"Last night, the speaker twisted himself into pretzels yet again trying to avoid his responsibility of governing, but this is the truth, every bill House Republicans have pushed is partisan, every CR has been aimed at the hard right, and every path they've pursued to date will inevitably lead to a shutdown," he said.
Bacon slams hard-liners who 'want to shut down'
Center-right Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said shutting down is "unacceptable" in remarks to reporters outside the GOP weekly conference meeting this morning.
Referring to the hard-liners who have demanded deeper spending cuts, he said, “Well, they want to shut down, which is unacceptable. I mean, I don’t get it."
"It actually costs the country more, we have folks working our border who won’t be paid, doesn’t make sense," Bacon said.
“If you got five to 10 holdouts, you’ve got to have a bipartisan bill, just by definition with a four-seat majority. So, I know we got to reach across the aisle and make this work,” he said.
Bacon said he could support the Senate's CR, but only if it was the only option to keep the government open and he believes it could pass the House. However, he still called for additional border security money, which is not in the Senate package.
“I think the Senate would support border security," he said. "I don’t know why they don’t have it in their bill right now. I encourage the leadership in the Senate to add border security.”
The Senate has a bipartisan bill to fund the government through Nov. 17
Senate leaders released a short-term funding bill yesterday to keep money flowing until Nov. 17 to give Congress more time to reach a larger agreement.
The bipartisan bill, negotiated between leaders of the Democratic majority and the Republican minority, includes about $6 billion in aid to Ukraine and $6 billion in emergency disaster relief funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It would also prevent a lapse in Federal Aviation Administration authority through the end of the year and prevent a pay cut for federal firefighters.
It’s unclear whether the chamber can pass it before the 12:01 a.m. Sunday deadline, as it would be likely to require unanimous consent to hold a quick vote.
Even if it does pass in time, it’s unclear whether the Republican-led House will approve it, as many GOP hard-liners oppose a short-term bill and want to advance full-year funding measures that include sharp spending cuts that Democrats oppose.
House Republicans meet to talk shutdown plans
House Republicans are meeting now to discuss the impending shutdown during their weekly conference meeting.
Congress is in session today to try to work through the standstill, but there's little time left to find a compromise and far-right members demanding spending cuts aren't budging.
“Hopefully we’ll get something done before the government shuts down, or at least before Monday morning,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., chair of the House Rules Committee, said this morning.
Cole says he isn't confident Congress can avoid a shutdown, pointing toward "challenges" in the House.
“The two chambers are a long way apart. So we have — again, I’m not at all confident,” he said.
McCarthy says a meeting with Biden would be ‘important’
McCarthy said yesterday he thinks it’d be “very important” to have a meeting with Biden to avert a government shutdown and emphasize the need to pass the GOP’s border security package.
“Why don’t we just cut a deal with the president?” McCarthy, R-Calif., asked reporters who questioned why he’s not willing to strike a deal with congressional Democrats this week on a short-term funding bill to keep the government open.
McCarthy suggested that Biden could solve the crisis at the southern border — a major sticking point for Republicans in shutdown talks — unilaterally.
McCarthy and Biden did meet earlier this year as they negotiated over the debt ceiling and came to an agreement on top-line spending numbers that were meant to make the government funding process easier. But not long after striking that agreement, and amid spending complaints from conservatives, McCarthy opted to ignore the deal with Biden and try to pass bills at a lower level.
“I need to be very clear, it’s up to the speaker to twist in the wind. I mean, seriously ... a deal is a deal,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One.
McCarthy faces key decisions to avoid government shutdown
Pay for millions of federal workers is at risk with a looming government shutdown
With six children under the age of 15 to support, Stephen Booth, a police officer for the Air Force in Kansas, doesn’t have room in his budget for a missed paycheck.
But like millions of other government employees across the country, Booth is bracing for his pay to stop indefinitely at the end of the month as Congress careens toward a government shutdown.
House Republicans left Thursday unable to reach a compromise within their ranks over a new budget, including funds for the Defense Department, with a handful of conservative holdouts demanding additional spending cuts. Unless Congress acts, the federal government will not be able to pay its 4 million employees after Sept. 30.
That has Booth, a veteran with almost two decades of law enforcement and security experience, beginning to think of ways to get by without pay, such as feeding his family with the meat he can get from hunting, eggs from his chickens and the money he makes driving on the side for Uber.