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Narrative Intelligence: Spending Bill and Possible Government Shutdown

September 22, 2023Bailey Flanders
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks with reporters as he walks to the House floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein


The U.S. government is facing the possibility of a shutdown at the end of the month unless Congress can reach a deal within the next 8 days. The main issues at play involve proposed budget cuts for some government agencies and the lack of funding for recent natural disasters and Ukraine aid. The narrative is driven by concerns over the potential impact of a shutdown on government programs and federal employees.

Rolling Updates

Our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence brief auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

  1. Congressional Negotiations
    • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is leading the negotiations in the high-stakes spending fight.
    • The House Republican conference is facing internal divisions over spending, leading to delays and challenges in passing appropriations bills.
    • McCarthy pulled a procedural vote on a government funding bill, highlighting the ongoing struggles to reach a consensus.
    • Budget Cuts
    • The proposed spending bill would keep the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs funding at current levels.
    • Other government agencies could face budget cuts of up to 8%.
    • This proposed budget does not include funding for recent natural disasters or Ukraine aid, raising concerns about the potential consequences for these areas.
    • GOP Infighting
    • Republican leaders in the House Main Street Caucus and the House Freedom Caucus negotiated a deal to avoid a government shutdown, it did not pass before the weekend.
    • The deal includes a small decrease in federal spending and new border security policies.
    • However, the deal lacks the necessary support to pass along partisan lines, highlighting the ongoing divisions within the GOP.

Overall, the narrative surrounding the potential U.S. government shutdown is driven by concerns over congressional negotiations, proposed budget cuts, and internal divisions within the Republican Party. The deadline for reaching a deal is approaching, and the outcome will have significant implications for government programs and federal employees.

Insights on Top Surfaced Keywords

In our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Brief(s), we have analyzed the top surfaced keywords related to the government shutdown and the ongoing political discussions. Here are some insights on why certain keywords appear more frequently than others and how they relate to the competing narratives:

  1. Government Shutdown: The keyword "government shutdown" appears 119 times, indicating its significance in the current discourse. This keyword reflects the central issue at hand and highlights the urgency and impact of the situation.
  2. Kevin McCarthy: "Kevin McCarthy" is the second most surfaced keyword with 105 mentions. As the House Majority Leader, McCarthy's role and stance on the government shutdown contribute to the ongoing narrative. His statements and actions are closely followed and analyzed by the media and the public.
  3. Freedom Caucus: The "freedom caucus" keyword surfaces 90 times, highlighting the significance of this conservative congressional group within the Republican Party. Their influence and demands shape the narrative and contribute to the discussions surrounding the government shutdown.
  4. Continuing Resolution: "Continuing resolution" appears 80 times. This keyword refers to a temporary measure to fund the government at existing levels when a formal budget agreement has not been reached. Its frequent appearance suggests the focus on finding a solution to avoid a government shutdown.
  5. Chuck Schumer: "Chuck Schumer" is mentioned 64 times, highlighting the role of the Senate Majority Leader in the ongoing discussions. Schumer's statements and negotiations with Republican leaders contribute to the Democratic narrative and shape the discourse.

These top surfaced keywords provide insights into the key players, positions, and issues driving the narratives surrounding the government shutdown. By analyzing the frequency of these keywords, we can better understand the dynamics and competing perspectives in the current political landscape. Our Narrative Intelligence and Narrative AI technology continue to monitor and analyze these keywords to provide real-time updates and insights.

U.S. Media Keyword Dynamics

U.S Media Bias Chart

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit for Article Header: Reuters

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