Congress has just two days remaining to fund the federal government. However, U.S. Representative Michael Guest is saying a government shutdown is mostly inevitable at this point.
A shutdown will occur in the event that legislation required to fund the federal government is not enacted before the next fiscal year begins. The upcoming fiscal year starts on Sunday, October 1.
According to Guest, R-Miss., the chances of both chambers passing the necessary bills to fund federal operations by the midnight Sunday deadline are slim to none.
“In my opinion, it will shut down. I think the question is not, ‘Will there be a government shutdown?’ But the question that we should begin asking now is, ‘How long will that government shutdown last?'” Guest noted on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “Our federal spending runs out midnight Saturday night.”
Both chambers of Congress have taken different approaches to combatting the shutdown at hand.
The Senate, which is mostly comprised of Democrats, has introduced a bipartisan bill that would fund operations until mid-November which would include roughly $6 billion in emergency disaster relief funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and an additional $6 billion in aid to Ukraine for ongoing war efforts.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has pledged that he will not entertain such legislation from his colleagues on the other side of the Capitol.
The Republican-led House, on the other hand, has passed a bill to fund veterans and military construction expenses. Members are now working to fund defense, homeland security, agriculture, and foreign operations costs before the conclusion of the weekend.
While the two sides are unlikely to agree on a final spending package come Sunday, Guest says it is necessary for the two sides to reach an alternative stopgap resolution to fund federal operations while both chambers continue negotiations for a long-term solution.
“There’s going to be a need, at some point, to pass some sort of spending resolution to keep the government operating until these bills can go to conference with the Senate and we can come out with a final spending package,” Guest said.
If the government shuts down, many federal employees will not receive paychecks and certain federal benefits will not be provided to recipients. All federal functions deemed nonessential will come to a halt.
Watch the full interview with Congressman Michael Guest below.