The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump could shut down the government because the Senate has yet to pass 12 spending bills, The New York Times reported.
None of the bills have reached the Senate floor yet, and a possible impeachment trial “gives added urgency” for the lawmakers to fully fund the government, Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins said according to the outlet. The impeachment inquiry is currently in the House and a vote has not been scheduled yet.
“It used to be that we frequently finished up the appropriations bills before the start of the fiscal year,” Collins said according to the NYT. “A potential impeachment trial gives added urgency to our making as much progress as possible on the appropriations bills…before we could be presented with the articles of impeachment.”
Funding might be extended into early 2020 so that funds don’t dry up in the case that senators have to spend time on an impeachment trial, which wouldn’t allow them to focus on legislative work as much. Lawmakers have had issues agreeing on the Trump administration’s spending, including efforts to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“I would hope the senators accept the responsibility that they have to complete their work,” said New York Democratic Representative Nita M. Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said according to the NYT.
The House has passed ten of the 12 bills earlier this year. After a 35-day shutdown earlier this year, lawmakers are trying to avoid another government shutdown. As a result, they may pass a short-term bill in an effort to avoid this.
A stopgap spending bill that would expire following an impeachment trial could cause more problems in an already divided government, the NYT noted, bringing up what “is likely to be a bitter partisan feud” over allegations that Trump asked Ukrainian officials to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The current stopgap spending bill expires on Nov. 21, which means lawmakers will have to potentially use another short-term bill to continue funding the government.
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