Extreme House Republicans’ Chaos Is Marching Us Toward a Government Shutdown

September 20, 2023

While President Biden has been in New York this week showcasing America’s global leadership on the world stage, extreme House Republicans are consumed by chaos and marching our country toward a government shutdown that would damage our communities, economy, and national security.

Instead of following the bipartisan example of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, extreme House Republicans continue to demand a reckless laundry list of partisan proposals as a condition of keeping the government open—from an evidence-free impeachment that even some of their own members don’t agree with, to reckless cuts to programs millions of hardworking families and seniors count on, to a litany of other extraneous ideological demands.

Just three months after threatening to default on America over their partisan agenda, extreme House Republicans are back at it again. Their latest 30-day continuing resolution is just more of the same—a shutdown bill that doubles down on extreme, partisan proposals that can’t pass the Senate and will never become law. Their bill not only makes devastating, indiscriminate cuts to food safety, education, law enforcement, housing, public health, Head Start and child care, Meals on Wheels, and more—it also fails to provide the urgent funding President Biden requested to support disaster-struck communities, counter fentanyl trafficking, support Ukraine, provide critical food assistance for pregnant and post-partum women and young children, and avoid disruptions to FAA air traffic operations.

And here’s what’s clear: if extreme House Republicans fail to ram through their radical agenda, they plan to take their frustration out on the American people by forcing a government shutdown that would undermine our economy and national security, create needless uncertainty for families and businesses, and have damaging consequences across the country.

Consider just some of the impacts of a Republican shutdown:

  • Force Servicemembers and Law Enforcement Officers to Work Without Pay: Under a Republican shutdown, all active-duty military personnel and many law enforcement officers would remain at work, but receive no pay until appropriated funds are available.
  • Endanger Disaster Response: A Republican shutdown would create an increased risk that FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund is depleted and would complicate new emergency response efforts if additional catastrophic disasters occur. Funding for long-term recovery projects would also remain halted, worsening ongoing delays as FEMA awaits new appropriations.
  • Undermine Research on Cancer and Other Diseases: A Republican shutdown would stall critical research on diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s because the National Institutes of Health would be forced to delay new clinical trials. New patients, many of whom are desperately waiting for a chance at new treatment through a clinical trial, will be turned away.
  • Eliminate Head Start Slots for Kids: Under a Republican shutdown, 10,000 children across the country would immediately lose access to Head Start, as the Department of Health and Human Services wouldn’t be able to award Head Start Grants during a shutdown—with the impacts only growing worse over time.
  • Risk Significant Delays for Travelers: Air traffic controllers and TSA Officers would have to work without pay—potentially leading to significant delays and longer wait times for travelers at airports across the country like there were during previous shutdowns.
  • Undermine Public Health and Environmental Protections: Most EPA-led inspections at hazardous waste sites as well as drinking water and chemical facilities would stop. EPA would halt oversight and review of permits and plans to ensure safe water and clean air in communities. Additionally, efforts to address dangerous contaminants like PFAS—which are linked to severe health effects, including cancer—would be delayed, and cleanup activities at Superfund sites would slow or cease.
  • Deny Capital for Small Businesses: The Small Business Administration would not accept, review, or approve any new business loans—including SBA’s primary loan to small businesses—cutting off an important source of funding for small businesses across the country.
  • Undermine Food Safety: The Food and Drug Administration could be forced to delay food safety inspections for a wide variety of products all across the country.
  • Delay Infrastructure Projects: A Republican shutdown could delay major infrastructure projects across the country due to a delay in EPA and DOI environmental reviews, which would affect multiple federal agency projects. In addition, permitting could be disrupted. For example, no USDA loans or grants would be made for modernizing utilities infrastructure in rural America, including permitting actions for rural electric transmission and broadband projects.
  • Impair Workplace Safety and Accountability: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would be forced to limit workplace inspections, denying workers a key protection against safety risk, and Americans who are owed back pay for their hard work would face delays due to the majority of Department of Labor investigations being suspended.

These consequences are real and avoidable—but only if House Republicans stop playing political games with peoples’ lives and catering to the ideological demands of their most extreme, far-right members. It’s time for House Republicans to abide by the bipartisan budget agreement that a majority of them voted for, keep the government open, and address other urgent needs for the American people.


US government shutdown: What is it and who would be affected?

Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. government services would be disrupted and hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed without pay if Congress fails to provide funding for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Workers deemed “essential” would remain on the job, but without pay.

Many government agencies have not updated shutdown plans they have prepared in the past.

View article >

CBO 2019 Report: The Effects of the Partial Shutdown Ending in January 2019

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the effects of the five-week partial shutdown of the government that began in December 2018 and ran through January 25, 2019. Their findings showed that the partial shutdown delayed approximately $18 billion in federal discretionary spending for compensation and purchases of goods and services and suspended some federal services.

As a result of economic activity, CBO estimated that real gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2018 was reduced by $3 billion in relation to what it would have been otherwise. In the first quarter 2019, the level of real GDP was estimated to be $8 billion lower than it would have been—an effect reflecting both the five-week partial shutdown and the resumption in economic activity once funding resumed.


See the full report


Spoiling for Shutdown: Republicans Restart Budget Calendar

A September 19, 2023, report from the Democrats on the House Committee on the Budget calls shutdowns costly and foolish.

The committee report says the Republican-induced shutdown would divert resources from their intended purpose causing agencies to create shutdown preparation plans and lose substantial worker productivity: a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.

Download the report

HBC REPORT - Spoiling For Shutdown Republicans Restart Budget Calendar


House Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bills Reveal An Extreme Agenda That Would Set Women Back Decades

Report from the National Partnership for Women & Families shows Post-Dobbs, the cuts sought by Republican leaders would be devastating for all women, particularly women of color, and their families. See the full report >

Post-Dobbs, House Republican leaders use every avenue to control and oppress women


More than one year after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, the appropriations bills put forward by House Republican leaders make clear their intent to continue the unrelenting efforts of extremists to erode women’s rights and eliminate hard-won protections essential to women’s survival. The bills include dangerous proposals that would diminish women’s quality of life by zeroing out or severely weakening programs aimed at protecting women’s health, reproductive health services, equitable workplaces, and pay. The cuts sought by Republican leaders, as outlined in the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) appropriations bills, would be devastating for all women, particularly women of color, and their families. After agreeing to a bipartisan, bicameral deal that set spending levels for FY24, they effectively want to renegotiate by demanding severe and drastic cuts at the expense of America’s working families, and threatening a government shutdown in October if they don’t get their way.


FACT SHEET: Republicans’ Extreme Continuing Resolution

FACT SHEET: Republicans’ Extreme Continuing Resolution

Children, Families, Farmers Among the Most Impacted by Reckless Cuts

House Republicans are still more focused on introducing extreme funding bills than working on a bipartisan solution that could be enacted. Their funding bill would only keep the government open until October 31, 2023. This deadline guarantees Congress will need to pass another Continuing Resolution (CR) and means that either House Republicans will slash critical resources again at the end of October or the dangerous cuts in this extreme bill will be in place until Congress is able to pass all 12 full-year bills.

See the full post >