Congress currently has just three days to strike a deal and prevent a government shutdown that would impact millions of Americans.
Lawmakers have made little progress towards preventing a crisis that would hit homes across the country on Oct. 1, unless lawmakers can pass a federal budget. The length of the shutdown would depend on how quickly the House and Senate are able to pass a new appropriations plan that President Joe Biden signs.
Government shutdown days away
On Wednesday, GOP lawmakers came out of a closed-door weekly conference meeting dismissing the Senate’s version of a temporary funding bill due to its lack of border security provisions. This is very important for most House Republicans and they emphasize any funding measure must include border security language. However, House Republicans' request for an aggressive border security package is not likely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Federal workers would be furloughed without pay, however, “essential” federal workers, such as those who work for the Federal Aviation Administration, would continue to work without pay and then receive backpay when the shutdown ends. There are numerous subcontractors who would not receive backpay and be out of work.
Members of Congress would continue to get paid during a government shutdown. However, their staff, like other federal employees, would work without pay and receive their paychecks after the shutdown ends.
A shutdown would deeply impact Americans, who are not federal workers and who need the most help. Those Americans include newborns who rely on WIC for infant formula, children who need nutrition assistance, low-income families who rely on Head Start programs for preschool, college students who receive federal grants to pay for their education, and people who receive food stamps.
There would also be a delay by the The Food and Drug Administration on nonessential food safety inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would limit its work, travelers could see delays with receiving passports, national parks would close, and the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) would have no money for disaster relief.
The Postal Service, however, is an independent entity that is generally funded by sale of its products and services therefore it will not be impacted by a government shutdown, USPS said in a statement.
President Biden states that Americans need House Republicans to “do their job” as he holds out hope that congress will take action by the end-of-week deadline and shutdown will be avoided.
“I don’t think anything is inevitable in politics,” Biden said, speaking in San Francisco at the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. “The American people need our Republic friends in the House of Representatives to do their job: Fund the government.”
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