Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday he is "increasingly worried" President Donald Trump will shut down the government again this fall because of the impeachment inquiry, as he "always likes to create diversions."
"I hope and pray he won't want to cause another government shutdown [be]cause it might be a diversion away from impeachment. It's very worrisome to me," Schumer told reporters Tuesday.
At this point, the government is funded through Nov. 21, with Congress having only a handful of days in session to agree on a plan to avoid a shutdown.
An impending shutdown was averted in September when the Senate sent Trump a continuing resolution that extended the shutdown date to Nov. 21.
The move bought additional time for lawmakers to work to unclog the $1.4 trillion bundle of yearly spending bills, and it remains unclear if Congress will be able to avoid another continuing measure that would avert a shutdown again.
Congress must pass 12 appropriation bills before the deadline, but the chambers have not reached an agreement on any of them, so another short-term continuing resolution might be needed to avoid a shutdown.
So far, the House passed 10 appropriations bills this year, and the Senate is expected to pass four spending bills this week. Democrats, meanwhile, are expected to block a defense spending bill Wednesday.
White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland on Tuesday would not guarantee there will be no shutdown.
"I'm hopeful that it doesn't," Ueland said. "I'm hopeful that Congress doesn't get distracted from some of these core priorities that the president's laid out and that people are interested in making progress on. But that's really going to be up to Congress."
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