White House making shutdown preparations

White House making shutdown preparations
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The federal government has begun planning for the possibility of a shutdown, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

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Earnest said it was “only prudent to begin such planning,” and lamented that this was “a process that we have unfortunately become all too familiar with.”

Money to pay for the operations of the federal government will dry up on Oct. 1 unless Congress passes a short-term funding measure.

Conservatives including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are eager to defund Planned Parenthood, risking a shutdown, after the release of a series of controversial videos in which staff at that organization discussed fetal-tissue donations.

However, any measure that defunds Planned Parenthood would be vigorously opposed by Democrats and, even if it passed in Congress, would be vetoed by President Obama.

Moves are already underway to break the logjam, but there is no guarantee of success.

Earnest, speaking at the regular White House press briefing, told reporters that “senior members of the president’s team” will not be leaving Washington anytime soon in case they are required to help resolve the impasse.

But, he added, “The final decision rests with Democrats and Republicans in Congress.”

While Earnest emphasized that preparations remained in the planning stages only, he also expressed regret that such moves were “becoming routine.”