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Get the CNBC AppA US shutdown is ensured as the Senate won’t meet again until after midnight
The Trump administration is instructing federal agencies to prepare for a possible government shutdown. Government funding lapses at midnight Thursday and Congress is making slow progress toward passing a funding bill. Sen. Rand Paul blocked an effort to quickly pass a massive budget agreement in the Senate. A U.S. government shutdown became all but certain as the Senate recessed until early Friday morning without passing a major budget agreement. The Trump administration instructed federal agencies to get ready for a possible government shutdown as Congress moved closer to the midnight Thursday deadline without passing a funding bill, CNBC confirmed. An Office of Management and Budget official said the office is preparing for funding to lapse as a Senate stalemate drags on with only hours until current funding expires. The Trump administration supports the massive bipartisan budget deal working its way through Congress and wants lawmakers to pass it, the official said. Some government agencies will run out of money and have to furlough workers if Congress lets funding lapse. A shutdown would be the second in less than a month.
Hundreds of thousands of workers would not go into work Friday if a shutdown takes place through the start of the day. Others would have to work without getting paid at first. A government shutdown is only partial — functions like the postal service and Social Security checks would continue. The National Treasury Employees Union, a major labor union for federal agency workers, said in a statement that agencies will notify employees if they get furloughed during a shutdown. The union will work with lawmakers to make sure employees get paid if they have to work during the shutdown, the organization said.
Senate leaders moved to vote on funding the government and setting spending levels for two years on Thursday afternoon. But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., objected to moving toward passing the plan. All senators needed to support the move to hold a vote on Thursday. Paul’s opposition significantly raised the chances of a government shutdown that lasts at least a few hours. The Kentucky Republican can block the Senate from voting on the measure until early Friday morning. Spotted leaving the Capitol shortly before 7:30 p.m, ET, McConnell said “it’s up to Rand” whether the Senate worked all night, according to NBC News. The chamber will vote at 1 a.m. or earlier, “whenever he decides for us to move ahead,” McConnell added.
If the Senate passes the measure, it would then have to go to a skeptical House, where both fiscal conservatives and liberals have pushed back against the agreement. The chamber expects votes between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., ET. If that chamber passed it, it would go to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. As 6 p.m., ET, neared without a funding bill passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed for a vote on the budget package. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared that the Senate entered “risky territory. “Paul objected to McConnell’s request, then took to the Senate floor to rail against both parties for the budget agreement and what he called a trend of reckless government spending.
The bill before the Senate would set up a roughly $300 billion increase in the budget caps over two years. It would pave the way to boost spending on the military and domestic programs, as well as authorize disaster relief for areas of the U.S. ravaged by natural disasters last year. “I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” the senator said on the Senate floor.” What you’re seeing is recklessness trying to be passed off as bipartisanship,” he later added. Paul signaled that he could keep the Senate debating until early Friday morning to prove his point. That would take the chamber past the shutdown deadline.Trump, for his part, wholeheartedly backed the budget deal Wednesday after earlier in the week saying he would “love” to see a shutdown if Democrats do not get behind his immigration demands. In a tweet Wednesday, he urged Democrats and Republicans to support the agreement.
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