इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 03:25:14      انڈین آواز

US Government’s shutdown imminent as Congress fails to endorse Continuing Resolution bill

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From TN Ashok

Washington, Sept 29: US Government is prepping up for an indefinite shutdown notifying all state agencies to go into emergency preparedness to prioritise expenditure as Congress failed to endorse the senate’s Continuing Resolution bill and voted out a defence expenditure bill that preceded it.

The government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time Sunday if Congress fails to pass legislation to renew funding by the deadline. With Hard-line Republicans pushing for deep spending cuts, the possibility of a shutdown is high, even as a bipartisan approach by liberal minded republicans and democrats to push the continuing resolution in the house appears very dim given the time frame. Its shut down time really, media reports said.

House Kevin McCarthy appeared helpless as his last ditch efforts to advance the defence appropriations bill, as one of the 12 , preceding the senate’s continuing resolution to grant temporary funding to state agencies failed to get the vote to pass and was defeated by a narrow majority. Most legislators have gone home to their constituencies to attend fundraising events and the speaker told them to be prepared to return in the event of an emergency if a solution emerges. Given the time period it seems difficult to hammer out a solution, media reports said.

A bipartisan group of democrats and republicans were huddled in the chief whip of the republican’s chambers to find a quick fix solution to end the impasse and keep the government open, the Washington Examiner said.

Meanwhile, reports from New York said that the imminent government shutdown from Sunday will have far reaching consequences in the Tri-State Area – (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) unless the House is somehow able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, report said.

Budget analysis warned the people “Buckle your seatbelts because a shutdown will not be pretty”. It will affect airports, critical federal aid payments to parents and children, and the ability of officials to get work permits for asylum seekers.

“What the extreme MAGA Republicans are effectively saying to us, unless you cut social security, slash public school funding, criminalize abortion care … we’re shutting down the government,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Jeffries was utterly frustrated by the Republicans action to block the advancement of 12 legislations including the Continuing Resolution and the growing likelihood of a government shutdown, which could have a devastating effect on an economy already reeling from inflation and high interest rates. They recalled with vivid memory the last government shutdown that began in Dec. 2018 with then-President. Trump and Democrats in a 35-day face off on a standoff over his demand for funding for a border wall.

“The 2018-2019 35 day government shutdown crippled economic output by $11 billion,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said adding , “This year another government shutdown could cost the U.S. economy $6 billion per week.”

A government shutdown impacts Wall Street’s financial markets, America’s bond ratings, the military, border security and the financial stability of hundreds of thousands of Americans as funds stop flowing into them, CBS news said.

Federal benefit checks would be delayed. Nearly 200,000 people working in the Dept. of Homeland Security have to continue without pay. Failure to pay airport screeners could lead to sickouts and possibly the closure of some airports, reports said.

“Over a million active duty military members won’t get their pay. A shutdown would degrade troop readiness and devastate our southern borders, something our friends on the other side who claim to care about border security conveniently ignore,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “Small businesses would lose access to capital. Home buyers would be unable to secure loans. Our supply chains would be imperilled and costs to American families would go up and up.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a statement saying, “Service members wouldn’t get their paychecks, travelers could face airport delays, and critical cancer research would be stalled.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed her concerns about the derailment of the economy and financial markets – the lifeline of the state and New York City economies – as well as the ability to cope with the asylum seeker crisis as migrants keep pouring into New York city travelling from the porous borders they crossed in the south, especially from Texas.

“It’s going to stop our ability to get people out of the shelters,” said Hochul. FEMA aid would be put on hold and homeland security personnel sent to help Venezuelans apply for work permits would not be paid. In New York alone there are: 70,000 federal employees who wouldn’t get paid, 30,000 members of the military, 400,000 people, including 330,000 children and infants, who rely on food stamps.

“If these federal workers aren’t working, well, all the places they go for lunch, and for dinner, and for dropping off their dry cleaning and bringing their kids to daycares, all of that becomes at risk,” said Gillibrand.

New York Republican Rep. Mike Lawler, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, told CBS New York he’s worried about a government shutdown and working to find some way to forge a compromise to avoid one. “I’ve never seen a government shutdown work. I’ve never seen anybody come out a winner on this,” said Lawler. Lawler said Republicans want the government to spend less and will introduce a compromise for the government to tighten its belt on Friday.

“It would be an 8% across the board spending cut,” said Lawler. “If Chuck Schumer wants to shut down the government instead of shutting down the border, you know, that’s his choice. But I think there needs to be a realization in this country and certainly in Congress that we cannot continue to spend at these levels.” Lawler said the compromise bill could get both sides talking and negotiating to avoid the shutdown, at least for now.

But it’s unclear if Democrats will go for it.

Please email us if you have any comment.


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