As the United States nears a possible government shutdown, House Speaker Mike Johnson is proposing a distinct approach to averting a crisis and ensuring federal workers don’t go without pay just before Thanksgiving.
With the deadline looming on Saturday, November 18 at 12:01 a.m., the nation is on the brink of a shutdown if Congress does not pass legislation to extend federal funding.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of the situation and critical elements surrounding the impending government shutdown:
A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to approve funds for federal agencies, leading to unpaid work for some key federal workers while others are placed on furlough until services reopen.
Members of Congress, however, continue to receive their salaries.
Date of cessation of operation
The government will shut down on Saturday, November 18 at 12:01 AM.
The current threat stems from the extension of funding until this weekend, following a continuing resolution (CR) passed in September.
The impasse is largely tied to a deal reached between President Biden and then-President Kevin McCarthy to raise the federal debt ceiling, which sparked disagreements over spending levels.
Speaker Mike Johnson is proposing a two-tiered stopgap, or “staggered” CR, bill that funds specific federal agencies until different deadlines in January and February.
The proposal aims to buy time for negotiations on a full year’s worth of spending bills.
The House is set to take up the “tiered” funding bill on Tuesday, with the Senate likely to vote later in the week.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer expressed optimism about Johnson’s proposal.
A government shutdown would affect most federal workers, with hundreds of thousands facing unpaid leave.
Exceptions include public safety workers, who would continue to work without pay.
Postal Service operations and Social Security payments are expected to continue, but other areas such as food stamp payments and inspections may be disrupted.
Recent shutdown history
The last government shutdown took place for 34 days from December 2018 to January 2019, mainly due to disagreements over funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.
As time ticks down, the nation is watching closely to see if Congress can reach a deal to avert a government shutdown and mitigate the potential economic fallout.
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