Members of key House Republican groups reached agreement Sunday on a month-long stop-gap spending bill tied to tougher border security measures, but a government shutdown is still possible when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, since the Democratic-controlled Senate would be certain to reject the measure. 

It's also wasn't clear the deal could unite House Republicans, several of whom quickly announced their opposition.

The continuing resolution, worked out between members of the Main Street Caucus and Freedom Caucus and released Sunday evening, would keep the government funded at a reduced-level through Oct. 31. 

A statement from the Republican Main Street Caucus said, "Over the next several days, we’ll work together to build support for this CR, to pass the defense appropriations bill, and to make progress on other appropriations bills that bend the curve on out-of-control spending," 

Earlier Sunday, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., told ABC News' This Week that she expected a partial government shutdown to occur when the new fiscal year starts with out a stop-gap spending bill enacted to keep agencies funded. 

"I've talked to some federal employees that don't really mind it because they're going to get a vacation, they’re going to get time off, but then they’re going to get back pay. And so they’re not really grumbling about a government shutdown. It’s more than meets the eye," Mace said. 

But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News that shutting down the government was a losing strategy for Republicans.

I’ve been through shutdowns, and I’ve never seen somebody win a shutdown. Because when you shut down, you give all the power to the administration," he said. 

House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., told MSNBC that the House is dysfunctional because McCarthy effectively handed power to the hard-liners in order to win his position in January. “We are in chaos because there is no leadership,” Clark said. 

One of the leading hard-liners, Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy, made his case for the border security funding in an op-ed in the Federalist: 

“The 'power of the purse' is the most effective tool we possess to force an out-of-control executive branch to end its abuses and focus only on its core functions. Thus, when federal funding expires on Sept. 30, we must stand in unison and declare, ‘No security, no funding,’” Roy wrote. 

Amid the impasse with Roy and other members of the House Freedom Caucus, GOP leaders were unable to bring up an FY24 USDA-FDA funding bill in July, and then last week ran into similar problems moving an FY24 defense appropriations bill. The Freedom Caucus members say they aren’t satisfied with the overall level of spending in the FY24 measures. 

The top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, is raising concerns that lawmakers may ultimately be able only to agree on a short-duration CR that would perpetuate the House turmoil deeper into the fall and further slow down work on a deal between the House and Senate on FY24 spending. 

She said some lawmakers want to make the CR as short as two weeks. That would raise “the specter of a shutdown every two weeks, and this is crazy.” She prefers a six-week CR, she said. 

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has problems of his own bringing up a package of three FY24 spending bills that includes the Senate version of the USDA-FDA measure. 

Without an agreement to allow the bills to be considered as a package, the Senate would have to consider the bills one at a time, a time-consuming process and something Schumer won’t want to do, said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Were the Senate able to pass some or all of its FY24 spending bills, it could have some leverage in coming negotiations with House Republicans, assuming their bills remain stalled. 

Amid the stalemate, senators have continued to file dozens of amendments that they would like to see debated on the floor should the Senate move forward with the spending package. The amendments filed so far include the OFF Act, a plan to tighten regulations on checkoff programs, and proposals to block USDA from finalizing new animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry, and to ban the use of imported beef in school meals.

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Other proposals seek to increase funding for such programs as urban agriculture assistance, dairy business innovation grants, and the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority, or AgARDA, which was authorized in the 2018 farm bill but has never received enough money from Congress to get off the ground

Also this week, the House Budget Committee is expected to vote on a fiscal 2024 budget resolution that theoretically would provide a blueprint for slashing the federal budget deficit, but it’s not clear that the partisan resolution could even pass the House, and the Democratic-controlled Senate hasn’t moved a resolution of its own. 

House Agriculture Committee has been pushing Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, for authority to increase funding for the next farm bill, but Thompson hadn’t been briefed about what’s going to be in the budget resolution. 

Thompson told Agri-Pulse it would be “disrespectful” for the budget resolution to include new cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, since SNAP already was addressed in the debt-ceiling agreement Republicans reached with the White House in May

Thompson said he is still trying to get Democratic support for clawing back unspent funding provided to USDA in previous bills. Thompson asked rhetorically, “If money is not going to be spent, and we have needs for America's No. 1 industry, agriculture, do you want to send that money back to the black holes of Washington?” 

Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon, a moderate Republican who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, expressed confidence McCarthy can survive a challenge to his speakership from members of the House Freedom Caucus. Bacon said there are at least 200 Republicans who would stick with McCarthy, if the hard-liners forced votes to remove him. 

“We don't want to have a small group of five or 10, I don't know what the number is, bullying us around on that,” Bacon said. 

Bacon is concerned that the hard-liners could also make it difficult to pass a bipartisan farm bill out of committee. “We probably won’t get a bipartisan bill out of here,” he told Agri-Pulse

Thompson reiterated last week that the House needs to resolve the government funding issue before the committee will take up a farm bill.

Here is a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):

Monday, Sept. 18

3 p.m. — USDA releases monthly Milk Production report.

4 p.m. — USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report.

Tuesday, Sept. 19

8:30 a.m. — Bipartisan Policy Center event with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to discuss the farm bill.

2:30 p.m. — Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee hearing with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, 124 Dirksen.

Wednesday, Sept. 20

10 a.m. — House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 2167 Rayburn.

2:30 p.m. — Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on drought impacts on drinking water access and water availability, 366 Dirksen.

Thursday, Sept. 21

8:30 a.m. — USDA releases Weekly Export Sales report.

9 a.m. — House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on rural broadband funding, 2123 Rayburn.

Friday, Sept. 22

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