Will the government shutdown? Once again, politics and personal agendas fill the halls of Capitol Hill. By now, everyone should have some knowledge of the impending government shutdown if Congress does not provide a stopgap bill by the close of business today (which in this case translates into midnight). According to the New York Times, Congress continues to place blame on each other even as time moves forward. Will this finger pointing resolve anything? History has taught us that it never has, and it never will.
The subjects of debate have been on the table for some time (e.g., the Dreamers, border security, reauthorized health insurance for children, aid for Puerto Rico, the opioid epidemic, etc.). To not side with either political party, in my estimation, all of these are worthwhile causes to be addressed. The question becomes, “Why cannot the Congress and President arrive at some resolution to these ongoing issues?” The quest for control appears to have overshadowed the purpose of being elected into these positions in the first place, right? What makes it so difficult to agree on some of the issues? Not sure because it does not make any sense to the average person apart from understanding that everyone has differing priorities and principles.
Bloomberg has reported that several areas of government would be affected if the government functions are suspended. If a federal employee is not considered an essential employee, they will be placed on furlough. This means that the non-essential federal employee is not allowed to work and can be fined or face a prison under the Anti-deficiency Act if they violate this law. The national economic impact depends largely on the length of the shutdown. A shutdown could lead to greater issues such as a breach of the debt ceiling and obligatory defaults if it lasts for an extended period.
So my next question would be, “Is it the little temper tantrum being thrown by either side of the political aisle worth any of this?” I would dare to say that, in the end, it is the American people who suffer the most. In my opinion, Senator Chris Coons (D – Del.) expressed it best, “At some point, Congress needs to do better than government-by-crisis, short-term fixes, and sidestepping difficult issues. That time is now.”
What are your thoughts? Will the government shutdown?
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”