Government shutdown looms: Lawmakers face funding deadline

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Time is running out for Congress to approve a government funding measure and avoid a shutdown.

Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to pass a full annual budget or short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution, or CR.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., argues for a clean RC, which would only extend current funding levels until lawmakers can agree on a bigger budget.

“I would rather it was just a clean CR. Let’s just fund the government,” Kaine said.

But in order to push through the Cut Inflation Act, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., struck a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., to pass a plan which includes the acceleration of permits for energy projects.

“The license agreement is part of the IRA agreement. I’ll add it to the CR and it will pass,” Schumer said.

Not everyone likes the idea of ​​adding the license plan to the CR.

“I think it should be done separately,” Kaine said.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also wants to see a clean CR. He says adding more parts to the bill risks shutting down the government.

“The Democrats will decide whether we shut down the government or not. I don’t believe we should shut down the government. I think we should have a clean CR,” Scott said. “And any issues that we want to talk about, we should have a separate vote on those.”

Senator Kaine is optimistic that Congress will find a way to do this.

“Will there be or not the licensing reform or how many will be in or out? This is yet to be determined. But I’m not worried about the government shutdown right now,” Kaine said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wants to see Congress act quickly on this.

“Hopefully we can do this as soon as possible and we don’t have a September 30 crisis that we always seem to create,” Hoyer said.

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