President Barack Obama’s weekly address contained an interesting tidbit of information. In particular, President Obama mentioned that Congress might try to shut down the government again — this time, right before Christmas.
For now, according to the White House website, the government is still in play for another 10 weeks. More than 50 percent of Congressional Republicans voted to shut down the government. If it were able to do it, this would have been the second time within two years. However, it was able to pass a bill which gives the aforementioned extension.
Free Speech Radio News quotes as follows.
“Once again, lawmakers on Capitol Hill came within hours of a government shutdown late Wednesday night, before crafting a temporary compromise to keep federal agencies up and running – and civil employees at work – until mid-December. The short-term deal came after five hours of contentious hearings about funding for Planned Parenthood…
…Despite the grueling proceeding – and the votes of 151 Republicans in favor of a shutdown – funding for the reproductive health group was not cut and the long-term budget disputes were not resolved. However lawmakers did approve a continuing resolution that funds federal government operations until December 11th.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 30, 2015
Given this particular situation, basically, President Obama has said that Congress simply needs to do its job and “quit kicking the can down the road.” New York Magazine actually reports that the vote count was 257 to 151. All Democrats approved the extension, and 91 Republicans went against their fellow members’ desire to shut down the government.
Moreover, during his speech, Mr. President also discussed how job growth has continued to expand for the last 67 months and that this growth could slow due to Congress’ actions.
“Yesterday, we learned that our businesses have created another 118,000 new jobs in September. That makes 67 straight months of job creation. [That’s] 13.2 million new jobs in all. But we’d be doing even better, if we didn’t have to keep dealing with crises in Congress every few months. And especially in a time when the global economy is softening. Our own growth could slow if Congress doesn’t do away with harmful austerity measures…
…Unfortunately, that gimmick only sets up another shut down threat two weeks before Christmas. Look, that’s not the way America should operate. It just kicks the can down the road without solving any problems or doing any long-term planning for the future. And that’s why I will not sign another short-sighted, short-term spending bill like Congress sent me this week.”
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 30, 2015
Also, according to Tallahassee Democrat, Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham isn’t having it. She’s now proposing a bill that would prevent those extremities from coming to surface. It’s called the Shutdown Prevention Act. It actually forces Congress to continue its sessions until it passes a federal budget.
Essentially, Graham states that the bill would cause them to “stay put” and do the job they’re hired to do — and no one gets to leave until it’s done. Something like juries but without the “hung jury” option. After stating that Congress needs to be more like regular, American people, Graham mentions that they need to do similarly as follows.
“They budget for their lives and they have weekends that are two day weekends, not three or four days, and they can’t just abandon their responsibilities when the going gets tough. It’s common sense.”
With her proposal in motion, it would limit Congressional “benefits.” If there were to be a threat of governmental shutdown, within 24 hours, any member would be able to offer a contingency plan at current federal levels for 30 days. However, this bill would also do the following, as reports Tallahassee Democrat.
“The plan also would freeze Congressional travel funds during the 30-day extension, forbid recesses and limit weekends for members of Congress to just two days. The restrictions would remain in place until an annual budget is passed.”
Do you think this would help Congress do its job as its members were hired to do? Things are often misunderstood until they hit home, right? What are your thoughts on the situation? Will there be a government shutdown two weeks before Christmas? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.