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November 13, 2023

Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona thinks Congress will avert shutdown just before deadline

U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona thinks Congress will push hard against Friday’s deadline before passing a funding package to avert a government shutdown.

“We’re going to be there probably on Friday night finishing this up,” the Fountain Hills Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday morning.

Schweikert said it could “take some very quick ping-ponging” for the GOP-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate to come to a final agreement on a stopgap funding plan.

“The House can do some things very fast because they’re a rules-based body,” he said. “The Senate, a single member of the Senate can slow up their process.”

What is the latest government funding proposal?

New House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled an appropriations proposal on Saturday to extend government funding for some agencies and programs until Jan. 19 and continue funding for others until Feb. 2.

“I think it’s viable,” Schweikert said. “In some ways you almost don’t have a choice. We lost a month of our lives in the removal of the speaker and putting a new speaker in, so a month that would have gone into moving appropriations bills is lost.”

The federal government is operating under funding levels approved last year, when Democrats controlled both chambers.

Facing a government shutdown when the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, Congress passed a 47-day continuing resolution, but the fallout was severe. Kevin McCarthy was booted from the speakership days later, and the House was effectively paralyzed for most of the month while Republicans tried to elect a replacement.

Why doesn’t plan include funding for Israel, Ukraine, border?

Johnson’s plan excludes funding requested by President Joe Biden for Israel, Ukraine and the U.S. border with Mexico.

Schweikert said those exclusions could be helpful in getting the funding package through Congress.

“I think actually the border, Israel, those things, there were ways to use those also as leverage, a positive leverage, to move the Senate,” the seventh-term congressman said. “But it turns out that a number of the senators actually made it very clear that some bills would be dead on arrival if those were attached.

“So, you’re not only just negotiating with your own body in the House. You’re also trying to figure out what the Senate is willing to move quickly.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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