White House official not optimistic about averting partial government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House budget director Shalanda Young said Friday she is not optimistic about reaching a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown later this month.

“I wouldn’t say pessimistic but I’m not optimistic,” Young said at a breakfast meeting with reporters, citing a trip by House Republicans this week to the U.S.-Mexico border and comments by some lawmakers advocating for a partial shutdown.

Congress returns to Washington next week to tackle Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 deadlines for settling government spending through September, amid Republican demands to reduce fiscal 2024 discretionary spending below caps agreed in June.

Lawmakers also hope to pass emergency aid for Ukraine and Israel, possibly with unrelated U.S. border security provisions attached.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)