As the Thursday deadline quickly approaches, Congress has yet to pass a bill that will keep the funding for the United States government going which means that the nation could be facing yet another government shutdown.
The recent executive action on immigration taken by President Barack Obama has left many in the Republican party looking for a way to lash back or somehow undo the actions taken, and many are pushing to take this opportunity to do just that. However, it could spell big trouble for the nation and all those depending on government funds to keep going with business as usual. If an agreement can not be reached, it could result in yet another government shutdown.
The current possible solution on the table is a bill that would keep the government funded and in operation for another year with one major exception: the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans are pushing to cut funding for the Department of Homeland Security because it is the agency of the government which is mostly responsible for carrying out the new policy under President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which has given thousands of families in the United States an opportunity to register to become legal citizens of the country without any fear of arrest or deportation.
The decision has been applauded by Democrats, and many human rights activists but received bitter backlash from the Republicans. If this version of the spending bill passes, it would avoid the government shutdown, but would likely lead to a battle over the funding for the Department of Homeland Security again in a couple of months when the department’s funds run out.
Some Republicans are looking at the politics but others are more weary of what a Christmas time shutdown would do for the image of the Republican party, given that thousands of American families depend on government funds for their pay checks to put Christmas dinner on the table. A government shut down would put these government employees and their families in a very tight spot for the holiday season. A government shutdown could also threaten millions of dollars of government benefits for some of the most financially vulnerable in the nation during the holidays and the winter season.
This was a point that President Obama spoke about during his weekly address to the nation, as he urged Congress to reach an agreement in order to avoid a Christmas government shutdown. Speaker of the House John Boehner says that he is also determined to avoid a government shutdown, and will push for the passing of a spending bill that will keep things going. However, some members of Congress are firing back, saying that they feel pressured to rush into a multi-billion dollar spending bill so it is likely that Boehner will need some democratic support to avoid the shutdown.
Congress has until midnight on Thursday to pass a bill to avoid the shutdown, and so far both sides seem somewhat confident that they can find a solution. However, if they can not meet the December 11 deadline, the U.S. May be facing yet another government shutdown which may cost the republicans come election time.