Members of the House of Representatives will be heading home over the last weekend before the deadline to fund the government, with no funding deal having yet been reached.
Friday, Sept. 22, and Monday, Sept. 25 are listed as “District Work Days” on the House of Representatives’ official calendar, when members leave Washington, D.C. to meet constituents in their home districts — with a weekend between both of them, enabling members to remain away from the Capitol for four days. Despite the government scheduled to shut down on Sept. 30 unless Congress passes 12 appropriations bills or a continuing resolution, members were advised by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer that no votes on appropriations bills would be scheduled during the weekend, enabling members to leave Washington, according to an email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: House Freedom Caucus Throws Wrench Into Congress’ Government Spending Fight)
“At this time, no further votes are expected in the House today … Members are advised that ample notice will be given ahead of any potential votes tomorrow or this weekend,” wrote Emmer’s office. He added that the “Committee on Rules remains on call throughout the weekend.”
While members have been cleared to return home, the House has not adjourned, however, amid opposition from some House Republicans who wanted to keep the chamber active throughout the weekend. The House remains in recess, subject to the call of the chair.
House Republicans have been furiously negotiating a deal amid large differences between members of their conference regarding a continuing resolution (C.R.) to keep the government funded. Whereas populist and conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus have either declined to support a C.R. or insisted upon steep cuts to spending, especially on funding for Ukraine, as well as the inclusion of border security measures that Democrats have staunchly opposed, more moderate Republican members have declined such measures.
If a bill is not passed by Sept. 30, the government will shut down for the first time during Joe Biden’s presidency.
So far, no C.R. has received a vote on the floor of the House, while only one appropriations bill — related to military construction and veterans affairs — passed the House on July 27, though it has not yet received a vote in the Senate. Attempts by House leaders to bring a second appropriations bill, related to the Department of Defense, to a vote have so far failed, with a rules package governing the bill failing twice on Wednesday and Thursday by narrow margins.
One C.R. proposal, which was introduced by Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida after negotiations between the Freedom Caucus and moderate Main Street Caucus, has been attacked by Democrats. “The continuing resolution they introduced this week makes indiscriminate cuts to programs that millions of hardworking Americans count on—violating the agreement the Speaker negotiated with President Biden,” wrote the White House in an email to the DCNF.
It remains unclear whether House Republicans can agree among themselves on a unified plan for funding the government as well as reach an agreement with Senate Democrats, who control their respective chamber, to pass a bill. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has resisted relying on Democratic votes to pass a C.R. amid threats by some members, such as Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, to force a vote to remove him from office.
McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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