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White House Urges Congress to Prevent October Government Shutdown

The White House has requested Congress to approve a temporary extension in government funding to prevent a partial government shutdown on October 1, as budget discussions are still ongoing.

White House
White House

Request for Short-Term Funding Extension

The White House made a request to Congress on Thursday for a short-term government funding extension to avoid a partial government shutdown on October 1 as budget discussions continue, according to a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cited by the Washington Post. “Although the crucial work continues to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, it is clear that a short-term continuing resolution (CR) will be needed next month,” the OMB spokeswoman informed the media. However, representatives for the agency could not be immediately reached for a comment on the report.

Current Funding Expiry and Consequences

The existing funding for most government programs is set to expire on September 30. If no action is taken before the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, a large portion of government functions will cease to operate. This has made the necessity for a stop-gap spending bill, which might extend through late November or early December, an anticipated outcome for months. Every year, Congress faces challenges over 12 funding bills required to keep most federal programs running.

Legislative Progress and Challenges

With only a few weeks left before the deadline, the Republican-led House of Representatives has approved only one out of the 12 necessary bills. Typically, spending and tax measures originate in the House before moving to the Senate. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, while addressing a business group in Kentucky, noted, "I think we're going to end up with a short-term congressional resolution, probably into December as we struggle to figure out exactly what the government's spending level is going to be."

Expected Measures and Pending Details

It is expected that the measure will be attached to new emergency funds to cover natural disasters across the United States and to support Ukraine's fight against Russia. However, the details still need to be finalized due to significant divisions among House Republicans.