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Partial government shutdown looms as Congress debates funding

(CNN, KYMA/KECY) - Congress has until Friday to pass a funding deal and avoid a partial government shutdown.

With only five days until the March 1 deadline, federal departments and agencies that will be impacted are already updating their shutdown plans in the event a funding deal is not passed.

One of the major issues under debate is $118 billion in aid for Ukraine. It’s something many Democrats and Republicans are pushing for.

"Not only the future of Ukraine is on the line, which is extremely important, but the larger battle against authoritarian and is authoritarianism is on the line," Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Mary.).

"This is not just about Ukraine. This is about freedom versus dictatorships. This is about truth versus propaganda," said Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.).

This will be the fourth time since September that lawmakers have been up against a funding deadline. Lawmakers keep passing short-term stopgap deals.

Extending some funds

In January, they extended some funding for Veterans Affairs, agriculture, housing and urban development through March 1. Funding for the rest of the government expires March 8.

Many Republicans don’t want to pass a spending plan until they see changes in immigration and border security.

"My position to my colleagues on Capitol Hill is clear: You either secure the border or you get no money for the government," said Representative Bryon Donalds (R-Flor.).

But now some right-wing conservative Republicans want to halt border changes. Their critics are accusing them of not taking action to help their chances of winning the White House in November.

"That is not good for America. They know that and they are putting Trump and Trump's personal interests ahead of the good of our country," said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

During the last government shutdown in 2018-19, an estimated 420,000 federal employees worked without pay and another 380,000 were furloughed.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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