What to Know in Washington: Shutdown Nears Despite Small Gains

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An Oct. 1 government shutdown swiftly approaches despite incremental progress late yesterday in the House and Senate on rival spending bills.

Senate leaders introduced their own bill to avert a shutdown and cleared a procedural vote, while Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was able to start House debate on a series of conservative full-year spending bills.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the Capitol.

The Senate bill would keep the government open through Nov. 17 and provide $6 billion in assistance to Ukraine. It also includes $6 billion of the $16 billion in emergency disaster relief the White House sought. The Senate may not be able to vote its approval for the temporary measure before the Saturday midnight shutdown deadline because Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is threatening to slow it with procedural obstacles over the inclusion of Ukraine aid.

Read more: Shutdown’s Economic Risks Grow the Longer It Lasts

That bill, however, is dead on arrival in the House, where McCarthy could face ouster by conservative hardliners if he allows a bipartisan plan to come to a vote.

McCarthy has said that after spending most of the week on several full-year funding bills, he plans to bring up a stopgap bill that contains a deep cut to domestic spending and immigration law changes that are anathema to Senate Democrats and the White House. So far, at least 11 members of his party have indicated they would resist allowing a vote on that measure. Read the full story from Erik Wasson and Billy House


  • Biden will meet with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology around 2:30 p.m. in San Francisco.
  • He’ll attend two campaign receptions in San Francisco, with the first event around 5:45 p.m. and the second around 8:15 p.m.
  • The president departs California around 9:35 p.m. and heads to Phoenix, where he’s expected to arrive around 11:20 p.m.


  • The House is back at 9 a.m. to vote on amendments to two fiscal 2024 spending bills.
  • The Senate returns at 10 a.m. to continue work on a continuing resolution to fund the government.
  • For more details on the full agenda read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

The Shutdown Clock Ticks

BIDEN said it was time for House Republicans to take action to prevent a shutdown while speaking yesterday at a fundraiser in Atherton, Calif. Biden accused McCarthy of going back on the debt limit deal the two negotiated earlier this year that included limits on discretionary spending. Read more.

FAA AUTHORITIES would be extended until the end of the year under a bipartisan measure senators proposed yesterday. The bill would fund the government through Nov. 17, and extend FAA authorities through Dec. 31

  • The House passed its version of the five-year FAA reauthorization (H.R. 3935) in July, and senators are using the legislation as a vehicle to pass a continuing resolution. Read more.

VETERANS serving in Congress are emerging as vocal critics in the Republican Party against increased defense spending, complicating work to complete a budget for next year and avoid a shutdown. Read more.

More Happening on the Hill

REP. MARK GREEN complained to ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS in a letter yesterday that DHS hasn’t provided records the House Homeland Security Committee sought in a subpoena last month. Green (R-Tenn.), the committee chair, threatened to force testimony from DHS officials should the agency fail to produce the records. Read more.

DEMOCRATS are pressing the IRS to use its existing powers to prevent tax-exempt groups from engaging in illegal political activity, while lawmakers and the Biden administration also seek to eliminate a legislative provision restricting the IRS from issuing guidance in this area. Read more.

People, Politics, and Power

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidates participate in the first debate of the GOP primary season on August 23, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wis.

GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES will likely talk about the auto workers strike, the looming shutdown, immigration, border security, and a renewed focus on abortion rights during this evening’s second Republican primary debate.

  • The event kicking off at 9 p.m. ET in Simi Valley, Calif., provides another chance for the candidates to distinguish themselves from the pack and mount a serious challenge to Donald Trump, who has once again opted to skip the gathering. Read more.

VIVEK RAMASWAMY’S combination of millennial goofiness and hard-right wingnuttery is succeeding in winning over MAGA die-hards. His poll numbers have pushed him past an array of better-credentialed and saner-sounding alternatives to Trump.

  • Trump had a huge lead—he was above 50% in most polls—but Ramaswamy was suddenly threatening the second-place candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had been seen as a front-runner just a few months earlier. Read more.

BIDEN will attend a fundraiser today hosted by billionaire Tom Steyer, the investor and environmental activist who ran against him unsuccessfully in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Read more.

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN signaled interest in running for other elected offices during an interview yesterday with Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein. Party insiders and donors have speculated the Virginia Republican could be a late entrant to the GOP presidential primary field.

  • A run for the Senate would give Republicans the chance to flip what has been a reliably Democratic seat for years, helping the GOP gain a majority in the closely split chamber. Read more.

WAEL HANA pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) in exchange for pressuring federal agriculture officials to support a monopoly he had on halal meat exports to Egypt. Read more.

What Else We’re Watching

Senior Biden Officials Stay in Michigan for Auto, Union Talks

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior White House adviser Gene Sperling were in Michigan yesterday to speak with the United Auto Workers union and representatives from the Big Three legacy automakers, a move by the Biden administration to ramp up communication with the parties amid a historic strike.

Khan Seeks to End Amazon ‘Illegal Conduct’

FTC Chair Lina Khan stopped short of explicitly calling for a breakup of Amazon, but said that her agency would ask a judge to halt the company’s “illegal conduct” if its antitrust suit succeeds.

FCC Chair Rosenworcel Pushes to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcelsaid she plans to reinstate net neutrality oversight of broadband providers that was rescinded under Trump.

Amazon, Google Among Firms Focusing on AI Lobbying in States

Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are lobbying to explain AI in statehouses from Albany to Austin with the hope that a soft touch now will win goodwill from legislators before companies begin pushing their policy priorities for less regulation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeannie Baumann at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com; Brandon Lee at blee@bgov.com

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