Government Faces Third Shutdown Scare of 2011
Matt | On 15, Dec 2011
It’s official. Almost every elected official in Washington, D.C. has forgotten the reason they were sent to Congress.
The government is facing it’s third shutdown threat of 2011. This is the definition of insanity, which means doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.
Funding for the federal government is set to run out on Friday night. The White House is pushing to get a continuing resolution passed. That is essentially a short-term measure that will carry the feds over the hump for a few weeks until they get the real funding passed.
The reason that the piggy bank is about to dry up is because Congress has yet to pass the payroll tax cut extension for next year. As leverage to get what they want on the extension, the government funding bill has been held up too.
It’s a really sad game of finger-pointing and blame-shifting.
Let’s see if I can explain in plain English how we got here:
- There are two bills that Congress needs to pass. One is the payroll tax cut extension for 2012. The other is the bill that funds the federal government.
- The payroll tax cut extension passed the House this week with Republican support. But, they threw in items like mandatory drug-testing for recipients of unemployment benefits, cuts to social programs, etc., to the bill. The GOP also wants to rush construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Democrats, including those in the White House, don’t like that.
- The House GOP have toyed with the idea of slapping together funding for the government and leaving town for the holiday break. This would leave it in Democratic hands in the Senate where they would almost be forced to pass it. It has been rumored that this is an option because the Dems won’t pass their version of the payroll tax cut extension.
- Funding for the federal government runs out on Friday night. It’s the job of Congress to make sure it stays open. No word yet on how that will happen.
This is YOUR government (not) at work people! Please open your eyes and take notes ahead of this 2012 election. I’m sorry, but it’s unacceptable.
What do you think of the gridlock in Washington? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.