Lawmakers Grow Up And Avoid Government Shutdown
Matt | On 09, Apr 2011
The government shutdown threat is no more.
With literally one hour to go on Friday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), and President Obama avoided a partial government shutdown by agreeing to a deal on the FY 2011 budget .. albeit six months late .. but they agreed to the damn thing. If they didn’t come to an agreement by midnight on Saturday morning, the federal government would have been forced into its first shutdown in over 15 years.
Friday proved to be a day filled with back and forth blame games, meetings, and attempts at compromise. But, in the end, both sides agreed to cut nearly $38 billion from the budget. The move saves the American people the shitty hassle of a non-functional federal government for several days or weeks. It also keeps the District of Columbia up and running as a city that’s totally dependent on Congress for funding.
On the flip side, the deal also covers the political asses of both Democrats and Republicans, both of whom would have been given a healthy helping of W-T-F from voters. With a major election in just over a year and a half, that was a gamble that none of them really had to balls to make. It was a smart move on both of their parts, honestly.
Both sides approved a deal that will fund Congress through the short-term on Thursday. Between now and then, they will vote on the final budget that cuts $37.8 billion through September 30. There had been back and forth about whether or not Planned Parenthood will retain its funding because they provide abortion services. They will. The GOP wanted to remove it, but it didn’t happen. Instead there is a “rider” that says the District of Columbia cannot use taxpayer dollars to help women get abortions. As a concession, Democrats had to increase the amount of other major cuts they were willing to take.
This solves the issue FOR NOW. This budget year ends on September 30. So, we will see these shenanigans soon enough for FY 2012. Brace yourselves for a similar fight about the debt ceiling (i.e., the nation’s “credit limit”).