House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pushing through drastic measures to avoid a government shutdown, including a 70% cut to a program providing assistance to lower-income families struggling to afford heat during winter. The Washington Post reports that McCarthy has decided to push through these cuts to avoid a shutdown of the House over a spending bill, despite the potential doom in the United States Senate.
The plan also calls for an 80 percent cut to funding for schools serving high concentrations of students in poverty, a cut by at least half a fruit and vegetable benefit for poor pregnant mothers, and multibillion cuts to the National Institutes of Health, Head Start, and preschool grants.
However, it is unclear if enough votes will be received for McCarthy to pass these drastic reductions, as Reps. Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs have already said such cuts are insufficient. Hardliners in the GOP caucus have also demanded Congress defund special counsel Jack Smith’s office, which is currently running two criminal cases against former President Donald Trump.