GOP Divided Over Prospect Of Week-Long Budget Extension

As Democratic lawmakers seek to push through a one-week budget measure that would forestall a federal government shutdown set to otherwise occur on Friday, a number of prominent Republicans are pushing back on the plan.

A statement from the office of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) this week called on Republicans in the chamber to oppose the stopgap bill, asserting: “Once again, House Democrats failed to meet the fundamental duty of funding the government despite spending most of the year passing trillions in wasteful spending that has fueled inflation and driven up our debt.

In response to the current proposal, which would delay the impending shutdown until Dec. 23, the statement described it as “an attempt to buy additional time for a massive lame-duck spending bill in which House Republicans have no seat at the negotiating table.”

As House Republicans look ahead to its majority status in the upcoming legislative session, several prominent legislators are hoping to hold off on any budgetary action until the GOP has control of the chamber.

Nevertheless, Democrats have expressed confidence that the funding bill will ultimately pass this week.

“We have no intention of shutting down the government of the United States, which is costly and harmful in almost every respect,” asserted Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) similarly signaled that ongoing negotiations about the size and scope of the next budget deal will not derail a vote in the upper chamber on the week-long extension.

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears willing to help Democrats achieve their short-term goal despite plenty of criticism from within his own party.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asserted that McConnell should be required to “demonstrate vividly, with detail, why we would get a better deal doing it through an omnibus than through a Republican House” if he is intent on working to advance the stopgap measure.

The Louisiana Republican added: “If my leader does ram it through and can’t explain why we can get a better deal doing it that way rather than waiting? He’ll be criticized.”

Other lawmakers remain undecided about how to move forward. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), for example, said that she is withholding judgment until more information about the budget extension is available.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of good in there,” she said. “And a lot of really ugly in there as well. I haven’t even seen the text. It’s so hard to say.”

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