As the spectre of a government shutdown looms just five days away, Capitol Hill is bracing for a high-stakes showdown.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy finds himself in the crosshairs of hard-right Republicans who are hell-bent on slashing spending, even if it means curtailing essential federal services for millions of Americans.

Averting government shutdown

On Tuesday evening, the House is set to vote on a bundle of bills aimed at funding various government functions. However, it remains uncertain whether McCarthy can muster the support needed to move forward with this crucial measure.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, efforts to avert a federal shutdown are in full swing. Senators from both sides of the aisle are working on a bipartisan stopgap plan to keep government offices funded past the impending Saturday deadline, providing some breathing room for congressional deliberations. Yet, plans to attach additional aid for Ukraine have encountered opposition from several Republicans in both chambers who are wary of further financial commitments to the ongoing conflict.

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Amid this mounting chaos, President Joe Biden issued a stern warning to Republican conservatives employing hardline tactics, emphasizing that funding the federal government is one of Congress’s most fundamental responsibilities.

Debt deals

Biden implored House Republicans not to renege on the debt deal reached earlier this year with McCarthy. Biden expressed his frustration, stating, “We made a deal, we shook hands, and said this is what we’re going to do. Now, they’re reneging on the deal. If Republicans in the House don’t start doing their jobs, we should stop electing them.”

A government shutdown would not only disrupt the U.S. economy but also jeopardize the livelihoods of countless Americans employed by the government or reliant on federal services. From air traffic controllers asked to work without pay to approximately 7 million individuals participating in the Women, Infants, and Children program, which includes nearly half of all infants born in the U.S., access to nutritional benefits hangs in the balance.

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Turbulence unfolding

With a mere five days remaining until the critical Saturday deadline, the political turbulence unfolds against the backdrop of House Republicans conducting their first impeachment inquiry hearing related to President Biden. This inquiry delves into the business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, setting the stage for an intense week on Capitol Hill.

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