Messy Republicans Stoke Government Shutdown Fears
Matt | On 26, Sep 2011
I cannot believe we are at this point AGAIN with the federal government and their bullshit over a possible government shutdown.
You may be wondering, “How did this happen? Didn’t we just move past that government shutdown drama in August?” Yes and no.
This is kinda confusing, so bear with me as I try to explain it. Some quick bullet-points may help:
- The fight now is related to the 2012 federal budget, not to be confused with the debt ceiling fight in August. The new federal budget year begins this Saturday, October 1 and runs through September 30, 2012.
- Congress is at odds over the next continuing resolution, a temporary fix that will fund the government through November 18, 2011.
- The last time Congress fought about the actual budget was back in April as they decided on a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the federal government through September 30.
- This latest budget disagreement happened because disaster relief funds provided by FEMA are set to run out on Monday night. That account has to be replenished because, for example, we had an awful tornado season this spring coupled with a hurricane hitting the East Coast in late August.
- The continuing resolution will put money in the FEMA account and every other area of the federal government through November 18.
- Republicans have changed course and decided to tie the FEMA funding to cuts in other programs. Usually, disaster relief funding is separate from other areas of the federal government.
- House GOP members (with strong Tea Party backing) passed their version of the bill using FEMA money as blackmail for other cuts, but the Democrat-led Senate blocked it.
- The Republicans want to slash the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Management (ATVM) loan program of $1 billion. They also want to cut $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program. These amounts represent fraction of percentages of the overall federal budget. It’s like loose change in your drawer at home vs. your yearly salary.
- The Senate will vote on its version of the continuing resolution on Monday afternoon. Democrats will leave the above two programs intact. It will then have to be sent back to the House for approval, which is not likely.
And the madness continues…
The effects of the near miss on the last government shutdown were wide-ranging. The U.S. stock market and global markets went haywire. The electorate was extremely pissed off.
So, Congress turns around around a month and a half later and does the exact same stuff AGAIN?! When is this ever ok?