WASHINGTON: Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (June 15) re-entered the battle with the Democratic-led Senate by adopting next year’s government spending target below levels agreed upon by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic President Joe Biden. there is a possibility. Government shutdown.
The House Appropriations Committee voted 33-27, along partisan lines, to pass a discretionary spending level of $1.47 trillion for fiscal 2024, which begins Oct. 1.
That’s about $120 billion below the $1.59 trillion set in the debt ceiling bill negotiated by Biden and McCarthy.
The target would keep defense spending at the $866 billion level agreed in the debt ceiling bill. However, the plan would cut spending on the environment, public aid and foreign aid.
Spending on border security, drug enforcement and countering China will also increase.
Democrats argue that the lower class is reneging on the deal on the debt ceiling. Republicans countered that the deal only capped spending.
Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger said, “The debt ceiling bill puts a cap on the bill for fiscal 2024, not a floor. It reflects the changes that lawmakers want.”
Congress aims to pass 12 appropriation bills by October, covering everything from law enforcement to scientific research.
On Wednesday, the commission adopted a bill that cuts spending to the Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration by 30% from current levels.
Republican lawmakers on the commission introduced another bill on energy and water development, with Democrats arguing that spending on domestic programs such as green energy incentives would be cut by 22%.
Democrats also opposed policies Republicans attached to spending bills, such as blocking abortion pills from being distributed in pharmacies.
Lower spending levels could make it harder for the House to reach a deal with the Democratic-led Senate.
If the two houses cannot agree on spending levels by October, the federal agency could be forced to shut down.
House Democratic spending leader Rosa De Lauro told Reuters: “The government is moving towards a shutdown. They want to guarantee it.”
Republican Congressman Steve Womack also expressed concern about the government shutdown. “I’m worried about what will happen on October 1st,” he said.
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/us-house-republicans-target-deeper-spending-cuts-raising-shutdown-threat-3565006 House Republicans Seek Further Spending Cuts, Threat of Government Shutdown Increases