Government shutdown clock is ticking in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — In less than three weeks, the government will run out of money, meaning we could be looking at another government shutdown.

President Donald Trump isn’t saying it won’t happen.

On Nov. 21, the government runs out of money, and Trump isn’t easing fears.

“It depends on the negotiations, I wouldn’t commit to anything,” he said.

Those negotiations are between the House and Senate over a spending deal that keeps the government funded.

“I don’t think there is a responsible member of Congress from either party that would support a government shutdown,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Now some lawmakers worry about another short-term fix instead of a long-term spending solution.

“I’m still pretty optimistic,” Warner said. “What I’m afraid may happen is we’ll kick the can until the end of the year.”

That would set up another shutdown showdown in just a few months.

“I would hope that Pelosi and Schumer and McConnell and McCarthy and Trump would all say we are not going to have a government shutdown,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

“So we’re stymied here, stuck on a problem we thought we’d solved several months ago,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate majority leader.

But some Republicans said the president has nothing to do with averting a shutdown.

“It’s really going to be up to Congress,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). “I mean, can we get our act together? Can we put appropriations bills on his desk to sign?”

But the president can tip the scales.

In 2018, Trump refused to sign a spending bill without money for a border wall, which led to a 35-day shutdown.

Some experts said it could happen again.

“I think, early in the new year, President Trump may think it’s in his political advantage to close down the government and demand funding for his border wall,” said Chris Edwards, of the Cato Institute.

For now, the shutdown clock in Washington keeps ticking.