Government Shutdown Watch | September 29, 2023

Earlier today, the House failed to pass a short-term stop-gap measure that would have funded the government for one month. Unlike the bipartisan Senate measure, the House bill did not fund the government at existing levels. Instead, it included steep cuts to federal spending and the Republican’s signature border security package (H.R. 2). The House bill also excluded money for Ukraine and relief for domestic disaster victims, two top priorities for the Senate chamber. The bill failed by a 198-232 vote, with all Democrats and 21 Republicans voting against the measure.

What they’re saying: Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has said he will not bring up a vote on the bipartisan Senate stop-gap measure, nor will he cut a deal with Democrats to fund the government. If he takes either of those steps, members of his extreme right-wing will challenge his speakership.

What’s next: House Republicans will meet behind closed doors later this afternoon to discuss the next steps for government funding. Speaking to reporters, McCarthy remained optimistic, saying, “It’s not the end yet. I’ve got other ideas.” Members will remain on Capitol Hill and are expected to take additional votes tomorrow. Still, it is unclear what they will be voting on.

The bottom line: Lawmakers expect the government to shut down by 12 a.m. on Sunday, October 1. Federal agencies are alerting employees and providing instructions on contingency plans.

The shutdown will partially impact immigration processes. 

  • As a fee-funded agency, USCIS is expected to operate as normal, with the exception of the E-Verify program, which will close because it is funded through government appropriations.

  • Department of State consular services will also operate normally but could be impacted if there are insufficient fees at a particular post to support operations.

  • The Department of Labor will be shuttered until the government reopens.

Erickson Insights and Analysis

⚠️ While this story continues to evolve, Erickson Immigration Group will monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.

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