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CQ Roll Call: Fiscal Budget Needed To Avert Shutdown, Lamar Alexander To Step Down

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David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks about the latest news on Capitol Hill, including the situation on the possible government shutdown and Sen. Lamar Alexander's decision to step down from the Republican Party's senate leadership.

Parties disagree over new fiscal plan; possible government shutdown

"This is the third one these we've had this year," says Hawkings. "We had one in April, we had one in July, as we all remember, and those were about a lot more money than this."

Ultimately, this is just for seven weeks. According to Hawkings, the first question for the conservative Republicans is how much they're going to trim the discretionary budget for those seven weeks. The debt for the deficit deal that got done before the Aug. 2 shutdown default moment talked about a certain amount of money, and that's the amount of money that's in the bill.

The other thing they're fighting for is the size of the disaster aid package, which should be $3.5 billion or $7 billion, and whether it should be paid for. The Democrats don't think that's necessary. The Republicans say our deficit has never been worse.

Lamar Alexander to step down from Republican Senate leadership

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says he's stepping down from his party's senate leadership.

"It's a big surprise," says Hawkings. "People rarely step out of leadership in the middle of their leadership terms. What it says is he felt beholden to the kind of standoff, combative, partisan politics that the Republican leadership was all about. Being a senator means you're an independent person coming in, unless you join a leadership, and then you're beholden to them."

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