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  • Congress's job is to fund the United States' government.

  • They control the purse strings.

  • But for the past four months,

  • Congress has been in a perpetual shutdown watch over couple basic issues.

  • Immigration,

  • whether to fund long-standing programs,

  • like the children's health insurance program,

  • and how to pay for all these natural disasters we saw in 2017.

  • Basically, Senate Democrats are saying,

  • "We're not giving you votes for the spending bills,

  • until you increase disaster aids for Porto Rico in the US virgin islands."

  • The thing that makes funding a government so difficult for congress

  • is you basically have to do it with bi-partisan votes.

  • So that means whatever party's in power,

  • needs the other party to cooperate.

  • That also means that the other party gets to put its foot down and say,

  • "No, I'm not gonna give you votes unless you give me X, Y, and Z."

  • That puts both parties in really tough positions, right?

  • Republicans can decide to either compromise,

  • or risk getting blamed for a government shutdown happening on their watch.

  • Democrats could get a chance to extract some big policy victories,

  • like on immigration, and government spending.

  • But they also might be seen as obstructionists.

  • So Congress's fallback is to pass a short-term spending bill.

  • And experts say that's probably what will happen

  • if Congress can't come to agreement on these big issues in the next couple weeks.

  • But there's a complicating factor here,

  • and that's President Trump.

  • He has been really really hardline on getting money for his wall.

  • Not a fence, not more border security.

  • a wall on the US Mexico border.

  • That's something Democrat absolutely won't do.

  • So, you know, Congress passes the budget.

  • The president is the one who signs it into law.

  • Never say never with President Trump.

  • It's quite possible he vetos even a short-term spending bill,

  • to try to get Congress to do something on his wall.

  • Passing these short-term spending bills month after month

  • makes it really difficult for the government to function.

  • But things could get a lot worst if Congress can't pass any spending bill and it shuts down.

  • We saw that happen in 2013.

  • And if it shuts down for couple days,

  • basically, anyone who wants to go to a national park, national museums.

  • like all the ones here along the mall in D.C.,

  • can't.

  • Those are closed off.

  • But the longer shutdown goes,

  • the more it filters into your and I (my) everyday lives.

  • People who want a passport or visa, may not be able to get one in time.

  • Anything that relies on money from the federal government,

  • is kind of stuck in the mud right now, and has been.

  • The whole thing is just a disaster for the economy,

  • and it also doesn't help US on a global stage, right?

  • Appear like we have our act together, if we can't keep our government open.

  • What usually happens is Congress comes right up to the deadline,

  • and then passes a short-term spending bill,

  • that just funds the government at last year's levels for a couple more month,

  • while they buy themselves more negotiating time.

  • Basically, this is not the way the government was set up to run,

  • kicking the can down the road every couple months.

Congress's job is to fund the United States' government.

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B1 US congress government shutdown spending short term term

What would a government shutdown mean?

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    Jerry posted on 2018/01/23
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