The United States is on track for a federal government shutdown unless its tenants agree before midnight on September 30. Congressional leaders from both parties hope to reach a negotiate and approve an extension of funding, even if it is short term, to keep the ship going. But the most conservative wing of the Republicans remains determined to cut public spending and doesn’t mind setting the whole ship on fire if that means they can achieve their goal. Political disagreements over several issues, such as US economic aid to Ukraine, are on track to force the central government to shut down. The situation affects millions of Americans, including 4 million public employees who will immediately feel the impact of closing their pockets.
An agreement is needed before next Saturday midnight (because Sunday is October 1 and the new fiscal year begins), otherwise the US government will run out of money. Things are not good, because conservatives in the House of Representatives not only want to reduce spending, they also demand important political concessions in exchange for giving that has no chance of being approved by the Senate. They strongly oppose the $31.38 trillion deal reached in May by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Joe Biden.
This weekend, the President of the United States and Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, asked the Republicans to resolve their differences to prevent “members of the military without pay,” or “travelers who suffer from interruptions.” closed that ultimately affects all citizens. “A government shutdown could affect everything from food security to cancer research,” the US leader said.
A House vote on next year’s spending bills is scheduled to begin today, Tuesday. Even if the move does not prevent a government shutdown, Republican Party leaders see it as a possible strategy to send a conservative stopgap bill to Congress that smooths the mess, and allows them to reach in an interim plan to avoid a government shutdown as long as possible. less until November. For his part, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has created his own temporary funding plan in the hope that it will have the necessary support in the House, where another bipartisan group is also preparing a plan. to spend.
The attitude of the lawmakers, in general, is to understand, but some extremist Republicans are preventing an agreement from being reached. That’s why federal departments and agencies have begun planning for redundant functions in the event of a shutdown. In past “shutdowns” (which is how these government shutdowns are known in North America), services necessary to protect public health and national security have remained operational (i.e., continue to operate monitor borders or air traffic control). . Officials whose work is not “essential” must take mandatory leave in the event of a shutdown, so that during that time they do not receive any compensation. Those forced to work, or suspended, will receive their salary, but retroactively when the Government is re-established. To avoid chaotic situations like those experienced in previous shutdowns, some offices have gotten creative and are planning to offer bonuses to their workers, or simply make sure that all of their employees are “essential.”
Trump’s final shutdown
If the worst omens come true, it will be the first government shutdown in four years, many lawmakers are unfamiliar with the situation. On December 22, 2018, under the administration of Donald Trump, the Government was shut down. At that time, it took congressmen 34 days to agree and get the 60 votes needed for the Budget Law. The shutdown affected 800,000 unpaid public employees, so many started asking for sick leave or not showing up for work, causing chaos at airports, for example. A third of national parks and museums closed their doors for several days, millions of people who need federal help to pay for their homes are left stranded, nearly 43,000 hearings in immigration court has been canceled, causing disastrous delays in the future, not to mention what it is. costs will return to normal when an agreement is reached on January 25, 2019.