Washington. This Saturday, the United States is a few hours away from the paralysis of the federal government in which Democratic President Joe Biden and the Republicans blamed each other.
Barring a last-minute deal, which seems unlikely, the world’s largest economy will operate in slow motion from Sunday: 1.5 million civil servants will be without pay, air traffic will be disrupted and many public services the uncared for.
Neither the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, nor the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, has yet been able to approve a bill to extend the federal budget that expires this Saturday at midnight (04: 00 GMT Sunday).
Almost a year before the presidential election, both parties accused each other of this situation.
Ukraine in balance
This budget crisis has a direct impact on the war in Ukraine. The White House initially requested that the budget approved by representatives include $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for kyiv.
Aware of the political problems of his great American ally, Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky went to Congress last week to try to convince Washington to help him cross the “finish line” against Russia.
But the allocation of such a large sum of money to Ukraine appears to be highly uncertain, given the direction of the negotiations.
Some of the Trumpist Republicans refused to open any new aid to kyiv, believing that these funds should be allocated to the immigration crisis in the United States.
Those lieutenants of Donald Trump, who have disproportionate power due to the very thin Republican majority in the House of Representatives, have already brought the United States to the brink of a political and financial cliff four months ago by raising the ceiling in debt.
Trump, who could face Biden in next year’s presidential election, ordered his congressmen to “paralyze” the federal government unless Democrats agree to “all” of his budget demands.
For Biden there is no doubt: the ball is in the court of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. “There are those in Congress today who are sowing so much division that they are ready to paralyze the government tonight. This is unacceptable,” the Democratic president wrote this Saturday on X, formerly Twitter.
On the contrary, the Republican president of that chamber, Kevin McCarthy, was elected at the expense of the transactions of the Trumpists, accusing the Democrats of wanting to “paralyze the government.”
Breaking in 2018
During Trump’s presidency, the United States experienced this BREAKING (federal government shutdown) longer. According to various estimates, the US GDP lost more than 3 billion dollars.
Within hours of the deadline, the United States is preparing for a new paralysis of public services. Officials were briefed Thursday on the upcoming situation.
Most US national parks such as Yosemite or Yellowstone will remain closed. Severe disruption to air traffic is also expected.
Likewise, food aid beneficiaries can also be disadvantaged.
Each week that the federal government is paralyzed costs the US GDP 0.2 points of growth in the fourth quarter, according to economists at Goldman Sachs.