Amid the looming threat of a government shutdown, Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is joining with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to propose a temporary funding plan for the government.
Fitzpatrick, alongside Democratic Congressmen Jared Golden of Maine, Republican Don Bacon of Nebraska, and Democrat Ed Case of Hawaii, unveiled the Bipartisan Keep America Open Act on Monday in an effort to ensure the government remains functional.
The legislation aims to provide critical funding for disaster relief, military aid for embattled Ukraine, and a response to the immigration situation unfolding at the southern U.S. border.
The act’s foundation rests on a framework endorsed by the 64 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group co-chaired by Fitzpatrick.
Key provisions of the bill include:
- Extending the government’s funding at Fiscal Year 2023 levels until January 11, 2024.
- Allocating $24 billion in aid to Ukraine, accompanied by strict transparency requirements.
- Assigning $16 billion toward natural disaster recovery efforts.
- Granting President Joe Biden’s administration the authority to expel migrants arriving illegally in the U.S., addressing the influx following the expiration of Title 42 earlier this year.
- Implementing a Fiscal Commission to address and stabilize the federal debt.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, is striving to stave off a government shutdown. However, his efforts have met resistance from a faction of hardline Republicans.
“I don’t think anybody wins a shut down,” McCarthy said last week, according to NPR. “Think for one moment what a shutdown does. It stops paying our troops. How do you have more leverage in that situation? I’ve watched shutdown after shutdown, everybody loses.”
Former President Donald Trump has called for a shutdown unless Republicans secure all their budgetary demands.
In a statement on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump declared: “UNLESS YOU GET EVERYTHING, SHUT IT DOWN! Close the Border, stop the Weaponization of ‘Justice,’ and End Election Interference.”
As reported by NBC News, numerous Republicans believe a shutdown would undermine the party and fail to advance policy objectives.
The clock is ticking for Congress. Without a new spending bill by Saturday, the government faces a shutdown come Sunday.