Another government shutdown-McConnell rejects Democrats’ funding bill
Are we facing another shutdown since the Democrats and Republicans cannot agree?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected the government funding resolution House Democrats introduced Monday, leaving the U.S. government on the verge of a shutdown.
The current government funding package only lasts another nine days, so on Monday, Democrats released a draft resolution that would extend in through Dec. 11. But McConnell alleged the Democrats’ proposal “shamefully leaves out key relief and support” for farmers via Commodity Credit Corp. funding.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday rejected the idea that she’d use the spending bill as leverage to stop Senate Republicans from filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat. “None of us has any interest in shutting down government, that has such a harmful and shameful impact on so many people in our country,” she said, adding that “we have arrows in our quiver.”
Democrats controlling the House unveiled a government-wide temporary funding bill on Monday that would keep federal agencies fully up and running into December. The measure would prevent a partial shutdown of the government.
The stopgap funding bill comes as negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief bill have collapsed and as the Capitol has been thrust into an unprecedented political drama with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, which has launched an intense election-season Senate confirmation fight.
The temporary funding measure provoked Republicans and President Donald Trump, who were denied a provision that would give the administration continued authority to dole out Agriculture Department farm bailout funds. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had initially informally indicated she would add to the measure language that would permit Trump to continue to release aid to farmers that would otherwise be delayed.
The legislation, called a continuing resolution, or CR, in Washington-speak, would keep every federal agency running at current funding levels through Dec. 11, which will keep the government afloat past the election and possibly reshuffle Washington’s balance of power.
The measure also extends many programs whose funding or authorizations lapse on Sept. 30, including the federal flood insurance program, highway and transit programs, and a long set of extensions of various health programs such as a provision to prevent Medicaid cuts to hospitals that serve many poor people.
It also finances the possible transition to a new administration if Joe Biden wins the White House and would stave off an unwelcome COVID-caused increase in Medicare Part B premiums for outpatient doctor visits
Congressional aides close to the talks had depicted the farm provision as a bargaining chip to seek comparable wins for Democrats, but Pelosi requests for provisions related to the Census and funding for states to help them carry out elections this fall were denied by GOP negotiators.
Trump announced $13 billion in coronavirus relief for U.S. farmers and ranchers Thursday night during a rally in the swing state of Wisconsin, angering some Democrats.
Both parties refuse to agree. What do you think is next regarding the economy and government funded programs. Is a recession closer than we think?