A Government Shutdown May Still Be on the Way

If you are one of the millions of Americans who could be impacted by a government shutdown, take a deep breath of relief — there will no longer be any sort of catastrophe if a deal isn’t reached by December 8. Now the government may simply shut down two weeks later, instead.

Yes, it seems like the government shutdown – formerly a once-in-a-lifetime threat — is yet again looming around the corner. The Republican majority in Congress remains so determined to push its agenda that they are again proposing to close down the U.S. government, rather than pass a reasonable budget that requires any sort of compromise with Democrats.

But they have offered a little wiggle room. Right now, the GOP has agreed to put the actual shutdown on hold for an additional two weeks, in order to push through their unpopular tax plan — one that benefits large corporations and the independently wealthy.

“House Republican leaders are likely to try averting a partial government shutdown next week by extending talks on a longer-term funding deal until just before Christmas and possibly again into early 2018, senior House GOP aides said Thursday,” the Washington Post reports. “Up against a Dec. 8 spending deadline, House Republican leaders are likely to introduce a measure that would extend current funding until Dec. 22, said the aides, who were granted anonymity to describe private deliberations.”

Republicans hope that a short deadline extension will allow them to pull in the few Democratic votes needed in the Senate to help overcome a filibuster. Meanwhile, Democrats appear unwilling to approve any legislation that fails to address President Donald Trump’s decision to end the DREAM Act for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

According to Politico:

Immigration discussions are likely to complicate spending negotiations further since Democrats say they won’t do anything without a solution for Dreamers. A small group of Senate Republicans has been trying to negotiate an immigration package that includes a Dreamer fix paired with security provisions that can win over conservatives as well as Democrats. But there’s been little bipartisan consensus behind the scenes.

And the defense budget is also causing headaches, as war hawks demand more funding for military endeavors. Meanwhile, the fiscal GOP hopes to push off the budget deal until their tax plan reaches the president’s desk.

Lost in much of the chatter and political posturing is the health of thousands of low and middle income children insured under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

CHIP, a bipartisan health care policy, was supposed to have its funding reauthorized almost two months ago, but Congress failed to act – and dragged its feet ever since. Without a new federal budget,  CHIP programs in most states will quickly go broke, and many are already on the verge of it. And that means millions of children will be cut off from their medical services, foregoing even basic preventative care until a budget is eventually passed.

“Congress must pass a spending bill by next Friday, and CHIP funding is expected to be part of the omnibus bill,” reports ABC News. “But CHIP funding has been held up by disagreements between the House and Senate over how to offset funds. CHIP will cost the federal government approximately $15 billion to fund, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates.”

Just like in past years, a government shutdown would mean financial harm to military families, government employees, those who need federal aid and more. But this year there are the added concerns of those children who will lose health care, as well as undocumented immigrants who lack legal protections. Meanwhile, with Congress more rabidly divided than ever before, a shutdown may be almost unavoidable.

And after Republicans pass massive handouts to the wealthy and big business, the GOP will have no one to blame but themselves.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

47 comments

Mary B
Mary B4 days ago

Amanda, It doesn't matter what Trump thinks or wants. That's why we have a United Nations. They have world wide authority to step up when needed to keep a government from doing this kind of evil. I know there's way more to it that this because there are still many nasty little dictatorships that should have been removed long ago. Amnesty International might also be able to help, but when too many people of our own country just assume this is business as usual for the repubs so the so called progressives appear to be doing nothing, I can only conclude they are burned out, in shock or on too many prescriptions themselves or just too busy to notice . After all, the R's have been wanting to do this for decades.

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Brian F
Brian F7 days ago

Peggy B Do you have a mental problem? The Democrats just fired all the honest progressives from the party, and are blocking Bernie Sanders from having any power, so they can continue their corruption, and make millions from Wall Street and corporations. We can't move on and forget the past, when the Democrats only want to continue to make the same mistakes that caused them to lose to this fraud Trump. If we say nothing about the Democrats firing all the honest progressives, having a horribly unfair super delegate rule, and blocking Bernie Sanders from having any power, so they can continue their corruption, the Democrats will lose to this fraud Trump. Most of the progressives including myself have left the corrupt Democratic party, and will vote for Jill Stein. If your tired of hearing about this, please go to another site. Care2 is where we talk about problems that we have in our world, and we can't ignore the corruption in the Democratic party that cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, fired all the progressives, and is blocking Bernie Sanders from having any power, because you don't want to talk about it. Please get some help for your mental condition.

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Peggy B
Peggy B8 days ago

Brian F.... I'm not a democrat, but my understanding is many are working on revamping the party in spite of Pelosi and Co. What is in the past is gone and rehashed enough. If Sanders hasn't left the party I would think he feels it can be salvaged. We are getting worried about your continual references to what we already know and often times is off the subject all together. Are you ok?

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Amanda M
Amanda M8 days ago

Mary B, unfortunately for us, the UN is one of the organizations that Twitler despises and considers to be obsolete. In other words, the UN is interfering with his idiotic plans for world takeover and/or World War III.

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Brian F
Brian F8 days ago

Regus You just can't admit that the Democrats need to clean up their act, end their corruption, move back to the left, and embrace progressive policies, stop firing the progressives in the party, and allow honest progressives like Bernie Sanders to lead the party. Most of the Democrats that you support like that crook Nancy Pelosi who is worth 100 million dollars are refusing to support Medicare for All because they are corrupt like the Republicans. If you think that people will unite around corrupt corporatist in the Democratic party, like Diane Feinstein, who refuse to support progressive policies that we desperately need in this country, like Medicare for All, you are ignorant. The Democrats must change their bad policies, end their corruption, stop firing progressives from the party, allow Bernie Sanders to lead the party, or they will continue to lose elections. People will not unite around a corrupt Democratic party that stands for nothing, and will instead vote for Jill Stein, as I will. The simple fact that you cannot see the obvious need for the Democrats to end their corruption, once again proves your ignorance.

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Mary B
Mary B8 days ago

If this info is correct, then the republicans in congress should be charged with attempted murder and put in jail. We're talking deliberately trying to kill off CHILDREN and other people presently dependent on the heath care payment system of OUR OWN COUNTRY. This is human rights violations stuff not some 'well, will we fund it or not' issue. The UNITED NATIONS has rules against a country trying to kill it's own people .

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Lisa M
Lisa M8 days ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M8 days ago

Noted.

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Winn Adams
Winn A8 days ago

No kidding . . . .

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Marigold A
Marigold A8 days ago

TYFP.

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