WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – With only about a week until the government funding deadline, Senators are moving ahead with a plan to extend the deadline. The move would give lawmakers more time to negotiate at a moment when there’s still major disagreement over what to put in the yearly budget.
Congress only has until next Friday to pass a funding plan, or risk a shutdown.
“The idea that we’re playing games with the shutdown, at this moment is just bizarre,” President Joe Biden said.
There’s a feeling of urgency on Capitol Hill. Sen. Raphael Warnock says it’s imperative that lawmakers find a solution.
“Congress needs to do its job, keep the lights on. We can not afford a government shutdown,” Warnock said.
Senate leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday he plans to start the process to vote on a continuing resolution, which would move the government funding deadline and give lawmakers more time to talk about the full budget.
“What we’ve got to do now is pass a continuing resolution. Keep the government open, we can have these discussions,” Warnock said.
If the Senate does pass a bill to extend the funding deadline, it will put pressure on the House to pass it too in order to avoid a shutdown.
“The only way we avoid a shutdown is with bipartisan cooperation,” Schumer said.
Beyond that, there’s strong disagreement about what to include in the full budget.
Republicans like Sen. Todd Young are demanding major cuts.
“We have to watch where we’re spending money. We are over $30 trillion in debt,” Young said.
Sen. Rick Scott argues it’s in everyone’s best interest to rein in government spending.
“Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent, you don’t like high interest rates, you don’t like high inflation. It’s all caused by these unbelievable deficits that are being run right now in this country,” Scott said.
But Democrats have several areas where they want to invest more government money.
Sen. Warnock says for him investing in childcare funding is a big priority.
“If we’re centering the concerns of ordinary people there’s no question that we have to deal with the childcare crisis,” Warnock said.
So even if they can avert a shutdown, budget negotiations are far from finished.