In 2013, during the last government shutdown, nearly 800,000 government employees were laid off for two-weeks. Weighing in at $24 billion according to Standard & Poor’s, the 2013 shutdown affected more than just government employees. Businesses the government had hired for defense manufacturing, Native Americans, asylum and immigration programs, shelters for domestic violence victims, welfare dependents and countless after-school and government-funded education programs were among the many groups that suffered.
All of this was the result of an inability to resolve an issue regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare. During the shutdown, many members of Congress decided to forfeit their pay; however, many kept theirs while their staff remained unpaid and at their aid.
We currently face another shutdown as Congress is divided on the issue of funding Planned Parenthood.
Both now and in 2013, the Republican Party has not wanted to fund this bill supported mainly by Democrats. Speculators presume that this shutdown is spurred by conflicting ideologies, not government efficacy. InvestmentNews said there was “too much debate and too little constructive dialogue.”
The deadline for the spending bill to be approved has passed, and the reason government has not shut down is because Congress voted to fund the government until December 11 as a last resort to avoid the chaos of 2013. Hopes are that lawmakers will come back from this respite with cooler heads.
According to CNN Politics, “A group of 30 House conservatives have told Boehner they would not vote for any spending bill that didn’t bar all taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood,” putting Boehner in a tough position to attempt to garner support from the House Democrats as well. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, recently announced his resignation, effective October 31, further complicating the issue at hand.
The spending bill must pass in the House, then Senate, and then be approved by the president. Many feel that the likelihood of a shutdown is highly unlikely in light of Boehner’s resignation; however, many GOP representatives still show signs of strong support for defunding Planned Parenthood.
Democrats and Republicans alike will be looking to Congress over the next few weeks to see if the shutdown has been postponed or truly avoided.
Setheesh is a sophomore mathematics and religious education major.