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Shutdown Looms as US Senate, House Take Dueling Tacks on Funding

 The U.S. Senate on Tuesday took a step forward on a bipartisan bill meant to stop the government from shutting down in just five days, while the House sought to push ahead with a conflicting measure backed only by Republicans.

The Senate voted 77-19 to begin debate on a measure that would fund the government through Nov. 17, and includes around $6 billion for domestic disaster responses and another roughly $6 billion in aid for Ukraine.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, however, planned to push along with its own partisan approach that was unlikely to win support in the Democratic-majority Senate.

The House took a procedural vote to move ahead on four spending bills that reflect conservative priorities and stand no chance of becoming law. Even if enacted, the measures fund only a portion of the government and would not avert a shutdown.

The split between the two chambers suggests the federal government is increasingly likely to enter its fourth shutdown in a decade on Sunday, a pattern of partisan gridlock that has begun to darken Wall Street’s view of U.S. government credit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell worked in tandem to win passage of a bipartisan short-term extension of federal funding at current levels.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday told reporters he would seek approval from his splintered Republicans on a bill that also would temporarily fund the government.

But he intends to attach tough border and immigration restrictions that are unlikely to win support from enough Democrats in the House or Senate to become law.

Democratic President Joe Biden and McCarthy had aimed to head off a shutdown this year when they agreed in May, at the end of a standoff over the federal debt ceiling, to discretionary spending of $1.59 trillion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Source : Reuters