Rep. Clyburn Speaks Out On Looming Government Shutdown
As the deadline looms for Congress to pass a temporary government funding measure, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said Sunday that a government shutdown is not a “foregone conclusion” and that he believes a deal can be reached to keep the government running.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Clyburn expressed hope that a shutdown can be averted, saying, “I don’t think we’ll get to that point, I certainly hope not.” The federal government is set to run out of funds by the end of the week unless Congress can pass a temporary funding measure before the September 30 deadline.
Last week, Republican leaders attempted to pass a rule on a short-term stopgap bill to extend government funding, but they were met with opposition from conservative members in the narrow GOP majority. As a result, the leaders will work over the next week to pass four of their full-year government funding bills before making another attempt at a short-term measure to prevent a shutdown.
Clyburn also addressed the criticism that Democrats have not done enough to avoid a shutdown. He explained, “We believe, we Democrats, very strongly that when you make a deal, you live by it.” He referenced a deal reached earlier this summer between President Biden and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to avoid a debt default, saying that Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate have adhered to the agreed-upon budget, but McCarthy has “seemed to be backing away from the deal.”
According to Clyburn, McCarthy is allowing the most conservative members of the party to dictate the direction of discussions, which he says is not how these negotiations should be conducted. He stated, “The tail wagging the dog is not the way you do this.”
Clyburn’s comments come just one day after President Biden held a virtual meeting with congressional leaders from both parties to discuss the situation. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement following the meeting that the president “expressed his disappointment” about the potential for a government shutdown and urged both parties to work together to reach a solution.
As the deadline approaches, it remains to be seen if Congress will reach an agreement on a funding measure to keep the government running. However, Representative Clyburn’s comments suggest that there is still hope for a resolution and a potential avoidance of a government shutdown.