A divided House may be leading to government shutdown
In nearly one hour, the fiscal year 2013 will come to an end, and decisions must be reached. The Democrats and Republicans have been at odds for some time over the issue of spending. Needless to say, the government has exhausted its budget once again and may not have adequate funds to pay its bills.
Now, the question remains at hand as to whether or not raising the debt ceiling will improve the budget crisis. If it is raised, they must determine which bills are priorities. Unless a consensus is obtained, the House will enforce an intense yet temporary spending Bill. This may possibly mean the government will shut down its operations for one week or longer.
Republicans have also made their demands, including defunding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), in an effort of attaining a compromise. Democrats, on the other hand, believe the Republicans are using the budget crisis as a ploy to stop Obamacare. They are willing to go to extreme measures to get their way.
President Obama, however, is not budging on his healthcare plan. Obamacare is scheduled to start accepting enrollments effective Tuesday, October 1, 2013.
What does a shutdown mean for workers? About 1.2 million employees will be furloughed or receive a delay in pay until Congress agrees upon mutual grounds. For at least a week, employees will not receive paychecks. This includes organizations that are funded by the Federal government (i.e., national parks, medical research at NIH, veteran support centers, etc.). Only essential organizations will remain open (i.e., police, fire department, post office, and schools, etc.). If your position is considered non-essential, then you will more than likely be furloughed.
President Obama declared, “The shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people. They are throwing a wrench into the gears of the economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction.”
While the economy is showing gradual improvements, a government shutdown at this point may cause more damage than what Congress may realize. Certainly, it will be a costly one. Once the shutdown begins, it is hard to determine to what extent it will end. With so many lives at stake, the fate of the economy now rests in the hands of Congress.