Local lawmakers speak out on potential government shutdown

Government shutdown deadline approaches
Government shutdown deadline approaches(MGN and pxhere and Cindy Shebley / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Four days: that’s how long lawmakers on Capitol Hill have to get a spending bill passed and avert a government shutdown. Lawmakers from our area are speaking out this week letting constituents know what they are trying to push.

With the potential for a government shutdown just days away, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are scrambling to get some kind of a spending bill pushed through. The House has advanced 12 appropriations bills. However, it is unlikely they will make it through the Senate.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND, says he is more in favor of a conservative continuing resolution.

“I think we have a tremendous opportunity, which doesn’t always happen in D.C. for Republicans. We have a chance to win a political fight and a policy argument,” said Rep. Armstrong.

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., has been outspoken in his stance against a continuing resolution. He and other Republicans favor the appropriations bills that have been brought up.

“The appropriation bills are critically important for us to begin cutting spending. They are the only way for us to begin scaling back funding for Biden’s alphabet agencies,” said Rep. Rosendale.

If the government shuts down on September 30, many Americans will be out of work, which would be a tough situation for constituents, and that puts pressure on lawmakers to get a deal passed.

“It’s frustrating — nobody wins in a shutdown. I think it’s silly. We have all kinds of different dates, the September 30 date, but a date that really concerns me and a lot of my colleagues is the first day our military personnel don’t get paid,” said Rep. Armstrong.

Some Republicans are blaming leadership for getting down to the wire, saying they always knew when the deadline was and this could have been averted.

“We could have started this process back then and easily completed our work and sent it to the Senate before the August break,” said Rep. Rosendale.

As the clock runs out, some lawmakers say it looks like some sort of a shutdown is inevitable.

“I don’t think if everybody came to an agreement you can consolidate all of those things. I think the most likely outcome is that the conservative positions on border policy and spending are going to be left to the wayside and a clean CR is going to find its way through both chambers,” said Rep. Armstrong.

Until that time comes, lawmakers will continue to attempt a deal.

The last time the government shut down it lasted about a month, from December 2018 to January 2019.