Government Shutdown Looms Over Ongoing Impeachment Proceedings

Leah Millis/File Photo/Reuters

The clock is ticking and will hit its buzzer in a week if Congress doesn’t come up with a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

With a November 21 deadline rapidly approaching, members of Congress say they plan to vote next week on a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running through December 20.

They say that under normal circumstances, getting such a measure approved by the House of Representatives would be a simple process. But because of the ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, things are anything but normal in Washington right now.

“In a rational world, this would be relatively easy to get accomplished,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) told Politico, adding, “But with this president, there’s no way to predict what he’s going to do.”

Others, however, insist that work goes on regardless of what’s happening down the hall on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said, “I think it’s irrelevant, frankly. I have my work to do, the chairman has his work to do and we’re continuing our work.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) — who says he spoke with the president over the weekend about spending bills — said that the House’s impeachment probe “could have an impact” on passing a spending bill.

“I always thought it would be relevant. Depends on what the House does and when they do it and what we do in the meantime. Once the impeachment resolution comes over, it takes precedence.”

As Democratic lawmaker Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.) declared, “Nobody wants a shutdown.”

If the House and Senate were to pass the temporary spending bill, Trump has the ability to veto the bill. However, congressional expert Steven Smith has warned that “a veto would upset congressional Republicans and almost certainly would be viewed by the public as unnecessary and harmful. It would not improve [Trump’s] situation in Congress or in the electorate,” he told Fortune.

Last year, arguments between the Trump administration and Congress about spending on a border wall led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, as IJR previously reported on.

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