WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday took a procedural step to allow the Democratic-majority chamber to pass a stopgap government funding bill before a Nov. 17 deadline to avert a partial government shutdown.
Disputes within the fractious House of Representatives Republican majority have prevented that chamber from voting on a stopgap funding measure known as a continuing resolution, or CR.
If House Republicans fail to start that process in time, Senate Democrats could pass a bill of their own, which would need House approval, to head off the fourth partial government shutdown in a decade.
* Congress has not yet finished with the 12 appropriations bills it needs to pass to fund the government through Sept. 30.
* It passed a temporary funding bill on Sept. 30 to give it more time, but shortly afterward, a small group of House hardliners ousted then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the deal, kicking off a three-week leadership fight that ended in the election of Republican Mike Johnson on Oct. 25.
* The two parties do not agree on a topline 2024 spending figure. Democratic President Joe Biden and McCarthy in May set a $1.59 trillion discretionary spending budget, but hardline Republicans have pushed for an additional $120 billion in cuts.
* The United States recorded a nearly $1.7 trillion deficit in its most recent fiscal year, its largest since a budget gap fueled by the COVID pandemic.
* Democrats and Republicans in both chambers will continue negotiations on finding a path forward ahead of the deadline, in the hopes of averting a shutdown.
Reporting by Makini Brice and Katharine Jackson; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell
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