The possibility of a government shutdown in 2015 has been on the minds of many politicians, and although it was somewhat forgotten in the excitement of Pope Francis’ visit to Washington this week, news that John Boehner will resign has reignited fears of a shutdown. According to an article from the New York Times, a government shutdown was made less likely after Boehner made the emotional announcement to fellow Republicans on Friday that he would be stepping down.
Reportedly, Boehner kept his plans to resign a secret and made his final decision on the matter Friday morning. The leader of the Republican majority bowed to pressure from the more conservative members of his party with which he has fought an intense battle in recent years. Boehner attributed his resignation to the brewing conservative rebellion and said it was inspired by Pope Francis’ visit.
“So before I went to sleep last night, I told my wife, I said, ‘You know, I might just make an announcement tomorrow,’ ” Mr. Boehner told the crowd during a news conference. “This morning I woke up, said my prayers, as I always do, and thought, ‘This is the day I am going to do this.'”
According to CNN, Congress faces a Wednesday midnight deadline to approve new money for government operations or face the possibility of a another government shutdown, similar to the 16-day shutdown that occurred in 2013.
Although the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, will resign his post in October, the third most powerful position in the United States, there is still a possibility that the U.S. government will shut down due to lack of funds if Congress does not approve a budget before the end of September. However, Republican John Fleming, a Louisiana conservative, says that now that Boehner has stepped down, this is an “unlikely scenario.”
As reported by Military Times, the Pentagon recently warned troops and defense civilians that the current gridlock on Capitol Hill is threatening a government-wide shutdown next week that would offer no immediate mechanism for continuing military pay.
“During a government shutdown, all military personnel would continue in a normal duty status; however, they would not be paid until Congress provides funding,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work wrote in a memo sent to all Defense Department troops and civilian employees Friday morning. “The uncertainty of the current circumstances puts our workforce in a difficult situation, and should a government shutdown occur, it could impose hardships on many employees as well as the people we serve every day.”
[Image via Astrid Riecken/Getty Images News]