Americans 2 weeks away federal government shutdown Congress can't agree best way avoid
Conservative lawmakers proposed a bill to fund the government through October 31, but the Senate and some House lawmakers aren't onboard. A government shutdown could happen in 13 days.
In just 13 days, the federal government could face another shutdown if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement. Conservative lawmakers have proposed a bill to fund the government until October 31, but there is resistance from the Senate and some House lawmakers.
The possibility of a government shutdown is once again causing a sense of déjà vu, as lawmakers find themselves in disagreement on how to prevent it. Congress must come to a funding agreement by September 30, or else the government will shut down once more. The previous shutdown, lasting 35 days, was the longest in US history and occurred between December 22, 2018, and January 25, 2019. While a shutdown may not be as catastrophic as the debt-ceiling crisis experienced earlier this year, a lack of funding would still have a significant impact. Goldman Sachs has even warned that a shutdown could contribute to a decline in GDP growth.
On September 17, Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus announced that they had reached a compromise on a short-term continuing resolution. This resolution would fund the government for 30 days and continue funding for the 12 appropriations bills until October 31. However, it also includes an "across-the-board" 7.8% cut to discretionary funding and contains provisions aimed at strengthening border security, a contentious issue among lawmakers.
The House Rules Committee is expected to review the resolution on September 18, with a full House vote scheduled for September 21. However, with the government just 13 days away from a potential shutdown, it is unlikely that the Senate will approve this resolution. Some House Republicans have already expressed their opposition to the bill, and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy can only afford to lose a few votes from his party due to the GOP's slim majority.
Republican Representative Tony Gonzales has made it clear that a government shutdown is imminent, expressing concerns about the safety of America. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is seeking additional funding to support key programs. In late August, the Office of Management and Budget released a document outlining areas where they believe more funding is necessary. This includes government benefits like SNAP and Social Security, which the administration claims would struggle to provide timely benefits and customer service without increased funding.
While the Office of Management and Budget has contingency plans in place for federal agencies to prioritize essential services during a shutdown, thousands of federal employees would be furloughed initially, leading to constraints on government operations and potential risks to programs that Americans rely on.
Another point of contention for some Republican lawmakers is the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. If the government shuts down, their ability to investigate the president would be put on hold. Some GOP senators have suggested that the impeachment inquiry could be a motivating factor for House members to keep the government funded in the coming month.
President Biden himself has expressed confusion over the Republicans' desire to impeach him, speculating that it may be a tactic to force a government shutdown.
In conclusion, the potential for a federal government shutdown in 13 days looms large as lawmakers struggle to find common ground. The disagreement centers around a proposed bill to fund the government until October 31, with resistance from the Senate and some House lawmakers. The repercussions of a shutdown could be significant, impacting GDP growth and putting essential programs at risk. The Biden administration is seeking increased funding to support key programs, while Republican lawmakers have concerns about border security and the impeachment inquiry. As the deadline approaches, the fate of the government's funding remains uncertain.