NEW YORK -- As the clock ticks down to midnight Saturday, lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a solution to avoid a government shutdown.
New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer is taking on what he calls "far-right extremists" threatening to upend life in his state.
Congress was in crisis mode Tuesday,.
"If the far-right extremists have their way and a short-term bill isn't passed, the government will shut down, jeopardizing America's public safety and national security," Gottheimer said.
Gottheimer slammed those House Republicans who openly admit they won't support any bills to keep the government open that don't contain dramatic spending cuts.
"The ultra-right are going to hurt our veterans, military, children, families, seniors, and we can't afford that," Gottheimer said.
According to the White House, a shutdown would mean at least 4 million federal workers won't get paid, food safety inspections could be delayed, and even cancer research could be stalled.
Social Security checks would still go out, but no new cards would be issued, and some federal workers, like law enforcement officers and firefighters, would be faced with a tough decision.
"We're going to ask those guys to come to work and not receive a paycheck. I think that's a big ask, but you know what? They'll show up and continue to do the job they love," said Steve McConlogue of the New Jersey Professional Firefighters Association.
Some Republicans say a deal is still within reach.
"It's critical that the House and House Republicans present something that protects taxpayers, that presents to the Senate our best offer that drives down spending, protects the border and respects the people paying the bills," said Rep. Marc Molinaro of New York. A government shutdown is in no one's best interest."
The deadline to avoid just that is Saturday at midnight.
President Joe Biden jumped into the fray, saying "The speaker has to do his job." Meanwhile, former president Donald Trump is emboldening hardline Republicans, posting on social media, "Unless you get everything, shut it down!"
for more features.