The federal government is currently facing the possibility of a government shutdown, which could have serious consequences for millions of working Americans. If Congress does not pass a funding bill by Saturday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, federal workers may temporarily go without pay.
Lawmakers in Congress are currently in negotiations over a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would extend funding on a temporary basis. This would allow for further negotiations over spending levels for the rest of fiscal year 2024 and the passage of necessary legislation.
However, House Republicans are divided over the duration of the CR and whether other provisions, such as border security measures, Ukraine funding, and disaster aid, should be attached. On the other hand, senators have begun crafting a bipartisan short-term CR, although it has not yet been introduced.
Any funding legislation will ultimately require bipartisan support to become law. With Republican control of the House and the Democrats’ narrow majority in the Senate, a potential GOP filibuster could pose a challenge.
It is important to note that unanimous consent from all 100 senators will be needed to bypass procedural hurdles that could potentially delay a vote on final passage beyond the Saturday night deadline.
Senators often leverage votes on their preferred amendments by withholding unanimous consent, especially as the funding deadline nears. This dynamic can delay the vote on final passage, even though the final vote need not be unanimous.
If Congress fails to approve spending before the deadline, the entire federal government will not be shut down. Rather, federal agencies’ essential services would continue with staff working without pay, while non-essential services would grind to a halt and workers would be furloughed for the duration of the funding lapse.
This situation puts millions of working Americans at risk. Federal workers who rely on their paychecks to cover essential expenses may struggle to make ends meet. The uncertainty of when they will receive their next paycheck adds additional stress and financial strain.
As the deadline approaches, it is crucial for lawmakers to come to an agreement and pass a funding bill.
The livelihoods of millions of working Americans hang in the balance. Bipartisan cooperation is necessary to ensure that federal workers are not left without pay and that essential services continue without disruption.
It is our hope that Congress will prioritize the needs of the American people and work together to avoid a government shutdown. The impact of such an event would be felt far and wide, affecting not only federal workers but also the overall economy.