The US House of Representatives passed a temporary budget funding bill on Saturday in a key step to avert a federal government shutdown.
House members voted 335-91 to approve a funding measure aimed at keeping the government running for another 45 days, sending the bill to the Democratic-controlled Senate in a last-ditch effort. to avoid government paralysis.
In this way, a paralysis of public services in the United States has been temporarily postponed affecting many areas, from the unaffordable salaries of public officials to the reduction of food aid, and even the delay of flight, with a depth that varies depending. for the duration of the disagreement.
If not approved by the Senate, 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 will not be taken care of.
When a “closure” occurs, as it is called, the consequences are the following:
Civil servants and soldiers without pay
About 1.5 million federal employees and 2 million military personnel will not receive pay during the shutdown, according to the White House Budget Office (OMB).
Others, whose functions are considered “essential,” must continue to work. Others will remain technically unemployed. They will receive their salary retroactively once the budget paralysis is resolved.
Air traffic is disrupted, parks are closed
Significant delays can occur at airports as air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officers work without pay.
Security checks are likely to be delayed. During the last period of this behavior between December 2018 and January 2019, flights were temporarily suspended at some airports.
Most of the famous national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone and even the Statue of Liberty are closed or do not offer services.
About 7 million women and children could be deprived of food assistance, according to the White House.
Relief for victims of natural disasters will be delayed.
Those considered “essential services” such as border protection, hospital medical care, air traffic control, law enforcement or electrical grid maintenance will continue to operate.
Retirement and health spending for low-income seniors under the Medicare and Medicaid programs will continue, but enrollment requests will be delayed.
The tax service does not work.
A spokesman for the Department of State warned that it is necessary to continue, in addition to financial aid to Ukraine, humanitarian aid in the world, funds dedicated to the migration crisis or to the fight against crime in Africa.
“Delays in access to these funds endanger the national security of the United States and cede ground to China and Russia,” the source warned.
Debt and GDP
Financial rating agency Moody’s, the sole maintainer of the top AAA rating for US debt, may downgrade it.
Each week of “closure” can cost 0.2 percentage points of US GDP in the fourth quarter, according to Goldman Sachs.
Financial data will not be published. Figures for GDP, inflation, unemployment, etc., will not be known until the crisis is resolved.