A potential sequel to the 2013 government shutdown is looming on the horizon as Congress returns from its summer recess – and the clock is ticking.
According to USA Today, Congress is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to tackle a budget deal. Considering Congress has missed this deadline for 18 consecutive years, many question whether lawmakers will be able push through political drama to agree on a temporary spending plan. If not, the government will shutdown beginning on Oct. 1.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass a spending bill to avoid what he called a “wildly irresponsible” shutdown. Obama has already threatened to veto a budget with “shortsighted sequester cuts that harm our military and our economy,” which includes spending bills that do not list caps on domestic spending.
“If they make smart investments in our military readiness, our infrastructure, our schools, public health and research, I’ll sign that budget — and they know that,” he said.
And the pressure is on.
As The New York Times described the situation in a report here, “When Congress returns for business on Tuesday, lawmakers have scheduled a mere 12 legislative days to find a bipartisan compromise to keep the government open, vote on one of the most contentious foreign policy matters in a generation, reconcile the future of funding for Planned Parenthood and roll out the red carpet – and a few thousand folding chairs – to greet Pope Francis. What could go wrong?”
Steve Benen with MSNBC added that “an ugly showdown, by all appearances, is probably unavoidable. I’d say the odds of a shutdown are roughly 50-50.”
History repeats itself?
Just two years ago, the federal government shutdown for the first time since 1996. Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur explained here that it cost the U.S. economy $20 billion, closed national parks and museums, tanked the Republican Party’s popularity and suspended USDA reports.
The 17-day shutdown impacted both pork and beef producers while trammeling research. Bradley A. McKinney with Faegre Baker Daniels listed the effects the government shutdown had on agriculture, including impacts seen in the USDA, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do you think Congress can hammer out their differences to avoid a shutdown? Vote below: