Progressive Caucus urges Speaker McCarthy to pass government funding bill, avoid government shutdown

The Progressive Caucus warned Speaker Kevin McCarthy that a government shutdown would be his responsibility

Progressive Caucus /

The Progressive Caucus, led by Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal, wrote to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urging him to work with Democrats and the Senate's bipartisan majority to pass a funding bill, that will prevent a government shutdown.

The Freedom Caucus has threatened a shutdown if their demands are not met, including an end to funding for Ukraine and the passage of the Secure the Border Act of 2023.

In addition to the Freedom Caucus' demands, some conservative Republicans who are not in the group have threatened to stop voting unless an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden is not launched. 

“Let us be clear: if you choose not to pass a bipartisan government funding bill consistent with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, you are deliberately choosing to shut down the government,” the letter which came 10 days before the September 30 deadline to pass the funding bill read.

 “If this House majority decides to shut down the government by insisting on unpopular cuts to investments that help our country flourish and extreme policy riders that target the most vulnerable Americans, they will hold you accountable,” the letter adds.

As per federal law, there are 12 appropriation bills that should be passed at the start of each fiscal year, October 1, to keep the government functioning. The House majority has passed one of the 12 bills. 

In case the House, Senate, and the President are unable to come together to enact these 12 bills for 2024, lawmakers could enact a temporary spending bill called a continuing resolution, where appropriations from the previous year could be extended for a specific time, allowing lawmakers to deliberate further and reach an agreement. Failure to pass the bill or a continuing resolution could lead to a full or partial government shutdown. 

According to the White House estimates, the GOP-initiated shutdown will affect 10,000 children across the country, as they would immediately lose access to head start grants; air traffic controllers and TSA officers would have to work without pay, food safety inspections for a wide variety of products across the country will be delayed; there will be limited workplace inspections, and workers would be denied key protection against safety risk.

“These consequences are real and avoidable—but only if House Republicans stop playing political games with peoples’ lives and catering to the ideological demands of their most extreme, far-right members. It’s time for House Republicans to abide by the bipartisan budget agreement that a majority of them voted for, keep the government open, and address other urgent needs for the American people,” the White House said in a statement.









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