US Government To Remain Shut; What Has Happened So Far

The Logical Indian Crew

January 22nd, 2018 / 1:05 PM

Courtesy: The New YorkerBBC | Image Credit: News World India

Naming it the “Trump Shutdown”, Chuck Schumer, Senate stalwart of Democrats spoke about the failure to reach an agreement on the pending bill leading to the shutdown of the US federal government. The New Yorker reported that the president “walked away from two bipartisan deals” and how “a Trump shutdown will serve as a perfect encapsulation for the chaos he has unleashed”.

When a federal budget presented for the upcoming fiscal year stands disapproved by the Congress, a federal shutdown is observed. Until the lawmakers agree on a budget, the nonessential functions cease in the House.

Functioning of other government offices such as air traffic control, U.S mail, military and the like which are clubbed under the essential functions would continue but without payment. Being the thirteenth since 1981 as reported by Bloomberg reports, the shutdown marked the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President.

Blame game continues

Negotiations are being sorted, but the blame game between the Republicans and Democrats continue. To avoid the shutdown, the House had voted on Thursday, January 18, reported Time. There was a need for 60 votes by Republicans to pass the bill but four Republicans cast their vote against the bill.

With only the support of five red-state Democrats, no deal could be agreed upon, causing funding for the federal government to lapse. The federal law demands a shutdown in cases like these where the Congress fails to appropriate money to fund the functions.

Immigration reform forms the major concern for disagreement among the parties. As the President, Donald Trump had repealed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on September 17, and which is likely to run out on March 5, 2018.

Republicans and Democrats are divided on this issue, debating whether to pass another continuing resolution for a short-term fix or come to a more difficult yet longer-lasting budget compromise. The inclusion of a DACA fixes in the spending bill to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children remain the crux of contention between the two parties.

No more Obama

Trump repelling the Obama-aided program denies providing protection to around 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation who arrived as children to the country, reported the Global News. The Republicans and the President wish to include money for the president’s promised wall along the Mexican border and other security measures in the immigration deal. The Guardian reported, “To pressure Democrats, they included in their measure a six-year authorization of a popular health insurance program (Chip), which provides healthcare coverage to 9 million children.” With Dreamers, as a priority for the Democrats and progressive activists, rallies were held to appeal for citizenship in the funding measure.

The urgency demonstrated by Democrats to act before March 5 lies on the fact that about 22,000 eligible DACA holders who didn’t get their applications signed in on time, will have already lost or will lose protections before March 5, at an average of 122 people per day, reports Huffington Post. This number would increase with the addition of the applicants whose application mails were delayed thus leading to loss of work permits and detainment. Being advocated on the weekend, the impact of the federal shutdown has eased but not for too long. Without an agreement in sight, a huge number of federal employees would be put on temporary unpaid leave.

Services remain closed

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be unable to report for work on Monday, as the US Senate struggles to end a government shutdown, reported BBC. There was little sign of compromise, as Democratic and Republican senators blamed each other.


Written by : Apurwa Shrivastava

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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