Government faces shutdown in days as bill blocked ahead of Thursday deadline


THE government could face a shutdown this week after a new deal, between Republicans and Democrats, was blocked and the Thursday, September 30, deadline nears.

On Monday, the Senate voted 48 to 50 and was not able to pass a government funding bill that would allow the progression of President Joe Biden’s $3.5trillion federal overhaul.

“It’s one of the most reckless, one of the most irresponsible votes I’ve seen taken in the Senate, and it should send a signal to every family, small business, market watcher, about who in this chamber is in favor of endangering the economic stability of our country,” Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote, according to NBC News.

Democrats are willing to try again to pass the bill before federal funding stops on at midnight on Thursday, the end of the fiscal year.

The House voted last week to keep the government funded, suspend the federal debt limit and provide disaster and refugee aid, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Republicans who oppose the package despite the risk of triggering a fiscal crisis.

A report being circulated by Democrats warned that a potential downturn from government funding cutbacks would cost 6 million jobs and stock market losses would wipe out $15 trillion of household wealth.

Once a routine matter, raising the debt ceiling has become a political weapon of choice for Republicans in Washington ever since the 2011 arrival of tea party lawmakers who refused to allow the increase.

Read our government shutdown live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • WIDE DISRUPTION

    American Federation of Government Employees public policy Director Jacqueline Simon said that it would not just be federal workers that will suffer.

    “It’s not only the federal employee who suffers when there’s no paycheck on payday — their landlord doesn’t get paid,” she said.

    “The credit card company doesn’t get paid, the utilities don’t get paid. They don’t go to the grocery store and buy groceries a lot.”

  • FURLOUGHED

    Federal workers risk being furloughed during a total shutdown.

    CBS writes “It could be similar in scope to shutdowns in 2013 and in early 2018, when about 850,000 of 2.1 million non-postal federal employees were furloughed, the group estimated.

    “In the 2018 episode, about 380,000 federal workers were furloughed, according to the Partnership for Public Service.”

  • ESSENTIAL DUTIES

    Essential duties will still operate during a full shutdown.

    These include:

    • Border protection 
    • In-hospital medical care
    • Air traffic control
    • Law enforcement
    • Power grid maintenance 
  • FULL OR PARTIAL?

    According to CBS, “This would be a full shutdown since Congress hasn’t yet passed any funding bills.

    “The last shutdown, from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019, was a partial closure since Congress had already enacted five of the 12 appropriations bills.”

  • FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

    Federal employees will most likely feel the strongest effect of the shutdown.

    “You have 2 million civilian employees that are working hard across the country,” Max Stier, president of the nonpartisan think tank Partnership for Public Service, told CBSN.

    “You have told all of them that there may be a shutdown — that means that they have to actually stop working on things like the [Montana] train crash or dealing with the economic calamity caused by the pandemic.”

  • EVERY SHUTDOWN IS DIFFERENT

    “Every shutdown is different — there is a lot of discretion in the agencies about what they can continue to do,” said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the CRFB.

    “Everything that’s not essential has to stop, but there are different definitions of essential work.”

  • RECKLESS

    “It’s one of the most reckless, one of the most irresponsible votes I’ve seen taken in the Senate, and it should send a signal to every family, small business, market watcher, about who in this chamber is in favor of endangering the economic stability of our country,” Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote, according to NBC News.

  • COMMON GROUND

    “We have to find our common ground, [be] respectful of each other’s views,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    “But this isn’t about moderates vs. progressives. Overwhelmingly, the entirety of our caucus, except for a few whose judgment I respect, support the vision of Joe Biden. And we will pass ― make progress on it this week.”

  • ‘DRAMA’

    “Everything’s drama. We play drama with people’s lives. We can’t shut the government down. We’re going to shut the government down in the middle of a pandemic? It’s the most irresponsible action that anybody could take,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.

    “And it’s the same on the debt limit. It’s total political rhetoric, drama. And it is real people’s lives, it’s our position in the world, and it’s bulls—.”

  • END OF THE FISCAL YEAR

    The government could face a shutdown this week if a new deal cannot be struck between Republicans and Democrats.

    The federal government faces a shutdown if funding stops on at midnight on Thursday, the end of the fiscal year.

  • HOUSE VOTE

    The House voted last week to keep the government funded, suspend the federal debt limit and provide disaster and refugee aid, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Republicans who oppose the package despite the risk of triggering a fiscal crisis.

  • SIX MILLION JOBS

    A report being circulated by Democrats warned that a potential downturn from government funding cutbacks would cost 6 million jobs and stock market losses would wipe out $15 trillion of household wealth.

  • WEIGHT OF SHUTDOWN

    A report being circulated by Democrats warned that a potential downturn from government funding cutbacks would cost 6 million jobs and stock market losses would wipe out $15 trillion of household wealth.

  • POLITICAL WEAPON

    Once a routine matter, raising the debt ceiling has become a political weapon of choice for Republicans in Washington ever since the 2011 arrival of tea party lawmakers who refused to allow the increase.

  • JEN PSAKI ON VOTE

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that “in our view, this should not be a controversial vote.” Psaki said Congress has raised the debt ceiling numerous times on a bipartisan basis, including three times under President Donald Trump.

  • RAISING THE COUNTRY’S DEBT

    To pay for the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill and other economic recovery efforts, the Biden administration raised the country’s debt by about $3.5 trillion.

    In order to afford stimulus checks and other pandemic relief efforts the government had to loan this money to itself and now they have to pay it back in bonds.

  • RAISING THE DEBT CEILING

    The government agrees on a certain level of debt to issue in the form of Treasury bonds, which are then sold in the open market at monthly auctions.

    Currently the Biden administration is asking for the debt ceiling to be raised, but if Congress says no to raising it, the US will default on its debt for the first time in its history.

    The US has been considered one of the most credit-worthy countries because its Treasury bonds are considered some of the safest investments in international markets.

  • FINANCE EXPERT ON DEBT RELIANCE

    “In a matter of days, millions of Americans could be strapped for cash. We could see indefinite delays in critical payments.

    Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for a time,” said U.S. Treasury Chair Janet Yellen, according to Yahoo Finance.

    “Troops could go unpaid. Millions of families who rely on the monthly child tax credit could see delays. America, in short, would default on its obligations.”

    Finance experts have also warned that the US defaulting on its debt could cause a financial crisis like the one seen in 2008.

  • WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?

    According to Reuters, a government shutdown includes ” the shuttering of some national parks, fewer airport security screenings, an interruption to public health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually an interruption in benefit checks to veterans and retirees and keeping national parks open.”

  • WHAT IF SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCKS THE BILL?

    Senate Republicans have threatened to block the bill, meaning Democrats would have little time to act before the government shut down.

    According to Retuers, they could ” simply remove the debt limit provision from the bill and rush to pass the revised bill in the House and then in the Senate.”

    But this would have to be done before midnight on September 30 and there is a risk of Republicans slowing this process by filibustering

  • RISKY

    Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a note last week that the current standoff is “the riskiest debt-limit deadline in a decade.”

  • ‘SUFFER GREATLY’

    “Our country will suffer greatly if we do not act now to stave off this unnecessary and preventable crisis,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said shortly before the vote.

  • KEEP FUNDING UNTIL DECEMBER

    The package approved Tuesday would provide stopgap money to keep the government funded to Dec. 3 and extend borrowing authority through the end of 2022.

    It includes $28.6 billion in disaster relief for the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and other extreme weather events, and $6.3 billion to support Afghanistan evacuees in the fallout from the end of the 20-year war.

  • REPUBLICAN SETBACK

    While suspending the debt ceiling allows the government to meet financial obligations already incurred, Republicans argued it would also facilitate a spending binge in the months ahead.

    “I will not support signing a blank check as this majority is advancing the most reckless expansion of government in generations,” said Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., during the debate.

  • ‘RAISED BY DEMOCRATS’

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said since Democrats control the White House and Congress, it’s their problem to find the votes — even though he had relied on bipartisan cooperation to approve the debt limits when Republicans were in charge.

    “The debt ceiling will be raised as it always should be, but it will be raised by the Democrats,” McConnell said.





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