DES MOINES, Iowa — Only five days remain for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass some type of budget agreement, or shutdown the government.
The deadline for next year’s fiscal funding is September 30 and republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are undecided on how much federal spending to cut.
A group of republicans in the House have been stopping the movement of appropriation bills, due to their belief that the budget cuts are not enough.
There are 12 total appropriation bills that need to be passed through the House and Senate this week. Which would be very difficult to pass all of them in this short of a window, even if republicans were in agreement.
Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District Representative told WHO 13 News what she envisions happening in the busy week ahead.
“I would say that it’s possible there will be a shutdown for a couple of days or a week because things have to go through the Senate and then come back,” said U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, (R) IA-02. “I feel hopeful going into this week that we will be able to pass both appropriation bills and a stopgap, a very short term funding measure for the government.”
She added that the likelihood of all the appropriation bills going through the Senate this week is low. The stopgap funding would allow for the government to be in operation for the next month while lawmakers finish the budget for the next fiscal year.
Miller-Meeks did not mince words when asked about her republican colleagues not wanting a stopgap agreement.
“Well, the majority of us do not want a government shutdown. And I would be in that camp,” said Dr. Miller-Meeks. “But the reality is that every government shutdown actually costs the government more money. So if your main focus is on cutting government spending, you actually ultimately increase government spending.”
Miller-Meeks wants there to be border security and integrity, but believes a government shutdown would do the exact opposite of House Republican’s goal. If the government is shutdown, U.S. Border Patrol agents would not receive a paycheck. Along with all the other federal government employees and funding for critical services will stop, like the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Iowa has a total of 58,126 WIC recipients. Democratic lawmakers and the Biden Administration has asked for an increase in WIC funding.
The U.S. House of Representatives gavels back in tomorrow, looking to move four budget bills on the floor. While McCarthy uses this as a procedural move in ongoing negotiations with unhappy republicans; these pieces of legislation face long odds of getting passed in a democratic-led U.S. Senate.