HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Members of the Alabama congressional delegation are expressing a mixture of wariness, optimism and frustration over the prospect of a government shutdown looming on September 30.
The House Republican caucus is continuing discussions on possible cuts to the federal budget beyond the totals agreed upon by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden in May as part of a debt ceiling hike deal. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30, beginning Oct. 1, funding measures have to be in place to avoid a shutdown.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama’s 4th District, which includes much of North Alabama, said progress can still be made.
“It’s all very fluid right now,” Aderholt said. “The goal is to get all 12 bills done and cut spending in a meaningful way. While the process may not always be pretty, it’s the fight that matters. We’re fighting to turn this ship and get the government back under control.”
U.S. Sen. Katie Britt last week announced her support for a bill that would end budget showdowns by establishing rolling continuing resolutions to fund the government during last-minute budget talks.
She said a more orderly approach is needed.
“I continue to push for a commonsense solution that avoids a costly government shutdown while putting the needs of hardworking Americans first,” Britt said. “The Senate should immediately pass the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, so taxpayers aren’t forced to pay the price for budgetary brinksmanship.”
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville has said he opposes a shutdown but is concerned that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, isn’t open to allowing individual appropriations bills to be further amended.
“Our staff is ready to go,” Tuberville said. “Obviously it’s something we don’t look forward to. We don’t want this shutdown, but obviously, Chuck Schumer is trying to control the floor to do everything he possibly can to put us in that shutdown.”
Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Madison, Limestone and Jackson counties and parts of Lauderdale and Morgan counties, is home to a lot of federal spending. The 5th district saw $15 billion in federal spending in fiscal 2021 and $13.7 billion in fiscal 2022, according to USA Spending.gov, a figure that dwarfs most of the country.