Could the United States Government Shut Down?

On June 27, 2023, the United States House budget process stalled out as in-fighting over spending programs and wedge social issues reached alarming highs. Such developments have raised alarms about the potential of a government shutdown going down as the September 30th deadline approaches. 

Elected officials in the United States House and Senate left the nation’s capital for a prolonged August recess with budget disagreements still not being hammered out.

The House won’t return until September 12. It’s currently tasked with passing 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills and hammering out differences with the Senate throughout that month when lawmakers will only have 12 work days to get things done. 

A compromise on a stop-gap spending bill already seems like a distant feat,  due to long-standing divisions on spending and apathy among America First populists over the effects of a potential shutdown. .

President Joe Biden and congressional bigwigs initially hoped a drawn-out compromise on spending caps as part of a broader deal to prevent a US debt default would set the stage for a relatively straightforward budget process. However, the plucky nature of House America First populations in their efforts to implement more profound cuts and tack on language with respect to abortion, transgender, and other social issues has scuttled those plans.

Even when it comes to spending for military aid to Ukraine, things have gotten hair for the political establishment. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate stated they’re ready to supply further funding to Ukraine in its efforts to stave off Russia’s invasion. 

The additional funding could be tacked on to a stopgap spending bill to keep the government up and running beyond September 30. However, McCarthy and other Republican members of the US House plan on opposing the stopgap effort due to how it would surpass the spending caps.

Contrary to mainstream media commentary, such bickering and gridlock is a good thing. Having Congress pass legislation rapidly means that bad legislation will glide through without meaningful opposition.  However, when there’s factionalism and partisan fighting it means that the American populace can breathe calmly for a few minutes as the politicians are not able to pass horrible legislation as fast as they can. 

This is the next best alternative to the wholesale defunding and abolition of unconstitutional programs — the real solution to DC’s current political problems. 

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