Nebraska congressmen talk efforts to avoid government shutdown

Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon gave his thoughts on the potential government shutdown, which seems more and more inevitable by the day.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The House of Representatives failed to make progress on a military spending bill Thursday as the country inches toward a government shutdown.

Rep. Mike Flood said it’s about making hard decisions.

“Democracy is messy,” Flood said. “Certainly, right now on the Republican side, we have work to do. But we’ve been here before.”

Flood said he has faith that Speaker Kevin McCarthy will get to where lawmakers not only avoid a shutdown but also address the country’s $33 trillion debt.

“It’s either we deal with this now or we have a systemic problem 10 years into the future.”

He said in order to move forward, politicians need to find common ground.

Rep. Don Bacon echoed that. However, he said that’s being hampered—not by Democrats, but by some of his fellow Republicans.

“We’ve not been able to get the other appropriations bills because we have about five to 10 people who have opposed them at every stop,” Bacon said.

Through the frustration, Bacon said they’re looking at a continuing resolution—or CR—which would temporarily continue funding to keep agencies afloat while lawmakers try to reach a more permanent agreement.

He said they’re running into the same problem there though.

“Here again, we have about 10 to maybe 15 people that will vote against any CR,” Bacon said. “The takeaway is, from my vantage point, is we got to be bipartisan. We got to work across the aisle and find an agreement that we can live with and the Democrats can live with.”

As an example of that bipartisanship, Bacon said he and Hawaii Rep. Ed Case worked on a stopgap funding measure to keep many federal programs going through Jan. 11.

It would also free up money for natural disasters and the War in Ukraine, and include language about border security enforcement.

“Essentially, we’re trying to create a remain-in-Mexico policy that folks will have to apply for refugee status from their home country or in Mexico before they can enter.”

The so-called “Problem Solvers Caucus,” which includes 32 Democrats and 32 Republicans, agreed to the measure.

Bacon said before taking it to the floor, they want to give people time to consider it.

What would a shutdown do to Social Security benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration, funding for benefits would go through the end of 2023, which means the agency would continue operations to ensure accurate and timely payments.

According to The Hill, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Affairs would also not be impacted.