The Impending US Government Shutdown

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So, it's been mostly drowned out of the news and the forum over the past few weeks by all the culture war ruckus, but the US federal government might be shutting down again within the next day or so.

I thought that sounded important, so I made this thread.

What's happening? If Congress cannot agree on a budget bill before the weekend, the federal government will shut down. Congress is currently finding it difficult to agree on a budget bill.

So why shut down the government? Every year, Congress needs to pass a budget in order to fund the federal government. The budget appropriations bill is a must-pass measure; if it fails, the federal government literally cannot pay most of its employees, who are either forced to work with no pay and hope the shutdown doesn't last or simply not come in to work at all.

What's the deal with Congress? Congress is finding it difficult to come to an agreement on budget negotiations because of a showdown between Senate Democrats and Republican immigration hard-liners over something called DACA.

What's DACA? This is where it gets complicated.

That was complicated and I didn't read it. There is a thing called DACA. The Democrats want it. The Republicans could take it or leave it. Ann Coulter hates it. No-one is sure what Trump wants.

So what does all this shit have to do with the budget? In order for any budget bill to pass the Senate, the Republicans need nine Democrat votes. And the Democrats - being prompted by their voters - are insisting that the budget bill include a legislative fix for DACA, citing an earlier verbal deal worked out with Trump way back in September of last year.

As a counter, the Republicans are demanding that the budget bill include more funding for border security. Hardliners are demanding that the Great Wall of Trump be tied to the bill, which is impossible (no-one has any idea how much it will cost yet, for example) and also unlikely because Senate Democrats have zero desire to fund Trump's stupid wall.

As a compromise, Sen. Lindsey Graham worked out a deal with Sen. Dick Durbin that would enshrine DACA protections into law in exchange for approximately $1.3 billion dollars to be allocated to "increased border security," a nebulously-defined purpose that allows Democrats to say they did not fund the wall and allows Republicans to say that they are funding the wall.

So why not just pass DACA? Despite the fact that there is broad bipartisan support from both voters and Congress in favour passing DACA legislation, and despite the fact that budget negotiations were actually going well just a couple of weeks ago, Congress is finding it super hard to reach an agreement on DACA. The fault for this lies primarily with Donald Trump, who has taken a confusing and inconsistent approach to negotiations.

Specifically, on Tuesday of last week, Trump held a bipartisan meeting with key senators to hash out the framework of a DACA deal, and took the unusual step of letting reporters come into the room with cameras. The result was a weird spectacle in which Donald Trump seemingly had to be reminded what his own party's political priorities were, and which drew criticism from Ann Coulter and Breitbart for surrendering too much to the Democrats.

That criticism stuck, because just two days later, Trump was insisting that the Lindsey-Graham deal was not something he would sign, despite the fact that it met the criteria he'd listed in earlier weeks and was actually way more conservative than what he'd agreed to on Tuesday. This threw DACA negotiations into a tailspin that they have not recovered from, with the budget deadline looming ever-closer. Adding to that was the infamous "shithole" comment, as well as Trump's repeated consultation with hard-line anti-immigration Republican senators such as Tom Cotton, who want to see no deal on DACA whatsoever and who would prefer an act that cuts legal immigration in half. (It's worth noting that Cotton's vote is not necessary for any budget agreement.)

Add all of that to Donald Trump's earlier Tweets indicating that he would prefer a shutdown as well as his habit of contradicting whatever position his own administration is pushing for based on his mood and whatever's on Fox News in the morning, and the whole thing is really just a fucking boondoggle of epic proportions.

My personal opinion: I don't think politicians should be using the threat of a government shutdown to play games of chicken over legislative goals. The Republicans did it in 2011 and 2013, and I said "yep, that's stupid." Now that the shoe is on the Democrat's foot, I find myself thinking "yep, that's stupid."

But colouring that assessment is the fact that this is not a hard thing to fix. The negotiations over DACA should be easy. Most Americans want to protect DREAMers. It's an act that has bipartisan support, mainly because it protects children, which are a difficult demographic to condemn. The most vocal opposition to DACA comes from anti-immigration nutjobs like Ann Coulter and Tom Cotton, who are simply never going to approve of any deal that the Democrats would sign up for.

Those people are loud and irrelevant; their views are not the views of the majority, but they carry enough sway with Trump's base that he is afraid of angering them. And Trump has now decided that he would prefer to shut down the government and try to blame the Democrats rather than reach a compromise that he himself endorsed. Which is insane, because everybody hates a government shutdown and it's basically impossible to predict whether voters would blame the Democrats for obstructionism or blame the Republicans for having control of all three branches of government and somehow still failing at the relatively basic task of keeping the thing running.

Like the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - which is a whole other topic, I can't even begin to explain except to say that it's atrocious how Congress has handled it - the DREAMers are being used as collateral in a high-stakes game of poker. Except the guy holding all the cards is Donald Trump, and he doesn't know the rules.

So what's the current odds on John Kelly resigning after Trump royally screwed him over when he tried to smooth things over between the White House and Congress?

Edit: or was it Senate? I saw it on the news while I was at the gym today, and I haven't found a news article about it yet. In any case, Kelly had told the parties involved that he had discussed the wall with the President and that he was changing his mind over it, and Trump promptly tweets out a giant fuck you to Kelly, saying the wall is the wall and nothing has changed.

For a brief second, I saw a glimpse of humanity in Trump, before it relenquished to the whimbittered tide. That your government can so easily shut itself down is probably an oversight worth looking into fixing at some point in the near future. That is unless it's an intended feature of course.
Who's bright idea was it to label them 'DREAMers' anyhow? They may have felt proud and witty at the time, however... just so tacky (regardless of political leaning), but this is US politics; it's very mild and trivial in comparison.

image

Major Tom:
So what's the current odds on John Kelly resigning after Trump royally screwed him over when he tried to smooth things over between the White House and Congress?

Edit: or was it Senate?

Kelly talked to the House Dem. Hispanic Caucus, saying that Trump would back DACA with more Border Security, and not necessarily a Wall. Knowing Trump, he did mean it, and then he changed his mind because he realized it'd make him look weak.

Xsjadoblayde:
That your government can so easily shut itself down is probably an oversight worth looking into fixing at some point in the near future. That is unless it's an intended feature of course.

Fun Fact; The Law that forces the Government shut down in the event of a lack of a Budget was created in the 1982 as a way to keep the Government Fiscally Responsible. So far, it has not worked.

Xsjadoblayde:
Who's bright idea was it to label them 'DREAMers' anyhow? They may have felt proud and witty at the time, however... just so tacky (regardless of political leaning), but this is US politics; it's very mild and trivial in comparison.

They've been called DREAMers because of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), created by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2001 and to this day still not law. So you get to blame the Senate for creating the term "DREAMers". Personally, I think it's a fitting name.

OT: So far, the CR is looking like it's going to fail, as 51 Senators (49 Democrats and 2 Republican Defectors, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake) are against it, and Republicans are short 1 Vote anyways because of John McCain's Absence. So we're headed for a Government Shutdown it looks like it, until the Dreamers are saved. I am against Government Shutdowns (I don't even think the Government should be able to shutdown), although I do want the Dreamers to be saved, just not this way.

This just continues to prove how ineffective this Republican Legislature is; they can't govern even when they have near majorities, and they used the one thing (Reconciliation) that they could've used to keep the government afloat, but instead they wasted it on things the Majority of Americans don't want.

Again? Ffs US, how does this keep happening? I mean, I know how it does. A dumb timebomb law combined with deeply divided and obstructionist politicians but still.

Part of me is kinda tempted to just let the government shutdown just to show all of Trump's supporters on how life is like without a functioning government.

Pseudonym:
Again? Ffs US, how does this keep happening? I mean, I know how it does. A dumb timebomb law combined with deeply divided and obstructionist politicians but still.

The fact that it's the same political party behind both impending shut-downs should tell you something about their priorities.

Mr.Mattress:

Fun Fact; The Law that forces the Government shut down in the event of a lack of a Budget was created in the 1982 as a way to keep the Government Fiscally Responsible. So far, it has not worked.

In most parliamentary democracies, failure to pass a budget would be seen as a non-confidence vote and usually results in an early election being called.

Mr.Mattress:

Fun Fact; The Law that forces the Government shut down in the event of a lack of a Budget was created in the 1982 as a way to keep the Government Fiscally Responsible. So far, it has not worked.

They've been called DREAMers because of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), created by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2001 and to this day still not law. So you get to blame the Senate for creating the term "DREAMers". Personally, I think it's a fitting name.

Ah, I see, thanks for the information!

Well, 'DREAMers' a fitting term, no doubt. But I kind of see it like referring to chronically depressed people as 'MOODKILLers' or something. Lacks a hue of professionalism in favour of a showy soundbite. But it's entirely trivial and subjective, I'm guilty of already taking enough of the discussion away from the serious problems reported here, would rather not fall into the trap some others gladly take up in this forum to deflect ;)

bastardofmelbourne:
Those people are loud and irrelevant; their views are not the views of the majority, but they carry enough sway with Trump's base that he is afraid of angering them. And Trump has now decided that he would prefer to shut down the government and try to blame the Democrats rather than reach a compromise that he himself endorsed. Which is insane, because everybody hates a government shutdown and it's basically impossible to predict whether voters would blame the Democrats for obstructionism or blame the Republicans for having control of all three branches of government and somehow still failing at the relatively basic task of keeping the thing running.

No, it's not impossible to predict at all. Polls have been done: 28% would blame Democrats, 48% would blame Republicans.

The Democrats should protect CHIP and DACA and not give an inch. Those are the terms, take it or leave it. If GOP wants a budget, it includes both of those. If the GOP want to defy the American people, that's on them. The Democrats should demand nothing less than total capitulation by the GOP.

Seanchaidh:
The Democrats should protect CHIP and DACA and not give an inch. Those are the terms, take it or leave it. If GOP wants a budget, it includes both of those. If the GOP want to defy the American people, that's on them. The Democrats should demand nothing less than total capitulation by the GOP.

Surely that depends on how badly a long term shut down of government would hurt people. Sure, go for concessions, but you have to balance it against the havoc you are causing. And the fact that the longer you hold out, the higher the chance that they agree amongst themselves and you lose your chance.

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:
The Democrats should protect CHIP and DACA and not give an inch. Those are the terms, take it or leave it. If GOP wants a budget, it includes both of those. If the GOP want to defy the American people, that's on them. The Democrats should demand nothing less than total capitulation by the GOP.

Surely that depends on how badly a long term shut down of government would hurt people.

If the GOP want to say no, that's on them. It is not acceptable to throw DREAMers or children who need medical care under the bus to keep the government running.

Doesn't this happen, like, every other year in America?

Nielas:

Mr.Mattress:

Fun Fact; The Law that forces the Government shut down in the event of a lack of a Budget was created in the 1982 as a way to keep the Government Fiscally Responsible. So far, it has not worked.

In most parliamentary democracies, failure to pass a budget would be seen as a non-confidence vote and usually results in an early election being called.

With how our Government works, you're essentially asking for a new Presidential Election every 2 years instead of 4, because the minute the Opposition Party gains a Legislative House, they can kill any Budget and force that vote to happen. You'd have to completely restructure how our Government runs in order for this to be viable at all. Otherwise, it's just one party throwing a hissy fit and making the President run 4 times instead of just twice.

Seanchaidh:
If the GOP want to say no, that's on them. It is not acceptable to throw DREAMers or children who need medical care under the bus to keep the government running.

No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

And again, the longer you wait, the more likely they are to sort out their own shit and not need you.

PsychedelicDiamond:
Doesn't this happen, like, every other year in America?

At this point? Yeah. The Republicans haven't suffered any truly long-term setbacks due to their irresponsible financial brinksmanship, so they don't have an incentive to quit just yet.

Catnip1024:
No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

And again, the longer you wait, the more likely they are to sort out their own shit and not need you.

We almost did have a deal. Until President Pumpkinhead changed his mind at the last minute and refused to sign a deal he had agreed to sign. Turns out it to be difficult to negotiate with one side when their ostensible leadership won't commit to a policy position for more than 24 hours and have a proven track record of being unable to keep to their word.

Catnip1024:
No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

Compromise sounds nice, but it really depends on what's under discussion. "Compromise" from the Democrats on CHIP and DACA would cost people their lives and their health.

Not only is it right to protect them, but it's also a high priority for US voters, so one cannot justify dismantling them on democratic grounds.

"Both sides compromising" sounds nice and fluffy when it's devoid of context. But, no, one side is frankly wrong here, and should give up its bullheaded fight.

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:
If the GOP want to say no, that's on them. It is not acceptable to throw DREAMers or children who need medical care under the bus to keep the government running.

No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

And again, the longer you wait, the more likely they are to sort out their own shit and not need you.

Compromise has more or less been made as the OP shows. Trump just can't either agree with anyone, or even know what the deal is even about. The live DACA budget deal meeting makes it abundantly clear that he's one of, if not the main, hurdle between the bill getting passed.

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:
If the GOP want to say no, that's on them. It is not acceptable to throw DREAMers or children who need medical care under the bus to keep the government running.

No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

And again, the longer you wait, the more likely they are to sort out their own shit and not need you.

There is no legitimate reason to compromise with people who want to ignore what the American people have to say. The American people want both DACA and CHIP to be funded. The GOP, if they don't want to do both of those things, should fuck off.

As much as I think republican and Trump are idiots and that helping the dreamer is a worthwhile act, they really shouldn't be shutting down the government over that. Yeah helping the dreamer is important, but shutting down the government would also have very serious negative consequence on a larger number of peoples. There is the curveball where Trump almost agreed before saying no for some reason (probably something he saw on fox or something), but even then the democrat are just being foolish here, if the dreamer faith as become politically toxic, find something else to ask rather than shut down the government.

Of course my solution to this problem situation is broad election reform that would make the two chambers (especially the senate) democratic instead of being heavily distorted based on non sense.

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:
If the GOP want to say no, that's on them. It is not acceptable to throw DREAMers or children who need medical care under the bus to keep the government running.

No, it is on the entire bunch. Sure, the administration is at primary fault. But everyone is at fault if no attempt at compromise is made.

And again, the longer you wait, the more likely they are to sort out their own shit and not need you.

The compromise was already made . Trump had already endorsed this compromise until he decided to unendorse it because... "reasons."

This is literally a part of the OP mate

As a compromise, Sen. Lindsey Graham worked out a deal with Sen. Dick Durbin that would enshrine DACA protections into law in exchange for approximately $1.3 billion dollars to be allocated to "increased border security," a nebulously-defined purpose that allows Democrats to say they did not fund the wall and allows Republicans to say that they are funding the wall.

Graham is a Republican, Durbin is a Democrat. How much more compromising needs to be done?

I think it's stupid that the government doesn't have an appropriations mandate for most of their governmental assets that guarantees a worker's paycheque that doesn't require rubber stamping each year which provides the fertile grounds for such grandstanding in the first place.

Let's face it, American payroll is already a laughing stock of the Western world. Holding government employee's livelihoods to ransom when 80% of working Americans live pay cheque to pay cheque already seems already a pretty good enough excuse to throw your politicians against a wall and promptly have them all shot.

I read up about this government shutdown nonsense in relation to worker's paycheques, and apparently routinely it means you havethe potentiality of soldiers receiving no money in the interim. We already know housing stress and domestic debts while on deployment is a core problem that undermines a soldier's morale and increases the likelihood of suicide, so why would you make that worse? And keep in mind it's not merely suspended pay... it's the looming threat of suspended pay... the constant knowledge you might not be able to make that mortgage/rental/electrical/etc payment in time.

Facing penalty charges and possible loss of housing/essential services.

It's downright malicious to underpin all that emotional baggage simply because a government can't make financial promises well ahead of time. One of the biggest comforts of the military is that steady paycheque. That promise a government gives you that in lieu of a promise to kill for the state if requested, the government will take care of you.

Which is more than a fair bargain in any language or sensibility.

Meiam:
As much as I think republican and Trump are idiots and that helping the dreamer is a worthwhile act, they really shouldn't be shutting down the government over that. Yeah helping the dreamer is important, but shutting down the government would also have very serious negative consequence on a larger number of peoples. There is the curveball where Trump almost agreed before saying no for some reason (probably something he saw on fox or something), but even then the democrat are just being foolish here, if the dreamer faith as become politically toxic, find something else to ask rather than shut down the government.

That the GOP in Congress refuse to listen to the American people who support both DACA and CHIP is no one's problem but their own.

Meiam:
As much as I think republican and Trump are idiots and that helping the dreamer is a worthwhile act, they really shouldn't be shutting down the government over that. Yeah helping the dreamer is important, but shutting down the government would also have very serious negative consequence on a larger number of peoples. There is the curveball where Trump almost agreed before saying no for some reason (probably something he saw on fox or something), but even then the democrat are just being foolish here, if the dreamer faith as become politically toxic, find something else to ask rather than shut down the government.

Of course my solution to this problem situation is broad election reform that would make the two chambers (especially the senate) democratic instead of being heavily distorted based on non sense.

Here's the issue.

No one wants this to happen. But the Republicans still need to start thinking about all walks of life in this country, not just the ones that they care about.

And Democrats can't keep backing down for the sake of appearing civil. That makes them look weak. Republicans have created this position that either Democrats will continue to look weak, and no one takes them seriously any more. Or they look like troublemakers.

And it's about time Democrats started to look like Troublemakers. Like when you stood up to that bully in school even though you were assured it was going to result in a punch to the face. Sometimes you need to take that bruise to get respect.

ObsidianJones:

Meiam:
As much as I think republican and Trump are idiots and that helping the dreamer is a worthwhile act, they really shouldn't be shutting down the government over that. Yeah helping the dreamer is important, but shutting down the government would also have very serious negative consequence on a larger number of peoples. There is the curveball where Trump almost agreed before saying no for some reason (probably something he saw on fox or something), but even then the democrat are just being foolish here, if the dreamer faith as become politically toxic, find something else to ask rather than shut down the government.

Of course my solution to this problem situation is broad election reform that would make the two chambers (especially the senate) democratic instead of being heavily distorted based on non sense.

Here's the issue.

No one wants this to happen. But the Republicans still need to start thinking about all walks of life in this country, not just the ones that they care about.

And Democrats can't keep backing down for the sake of appearing civil. That makes them look weak. Republicans have created this position that either Democrats will continue to look weak, and no one takes them seriously any more. Or they look like troublemakers.

And it's about time Democrats started to look like Troublemakers. Like when you stood up to that bully in school even though you were assured it was going to result in a punch to the face. Sometimes you need to take that bruise to get respect.

...Honestly, if I knew the punch was coming for my face, I'd rather duck.

That aside, I completely agree. I don't like the idea of the government grinding to a halt over this, but I loathe the idea of Republicans essentially throwing their weight around to get what they want without any regard for the common people because, fuck it, we have a career for the next two years anyways, and we're rich as fuck.

ObsidianJones:

Here's the issue.

No one wants this to happen. But the Republicans still need to start thinking about all walks of life in this country, not just the ones that they care about.

And Democrats can't keep backing down for the sake of appearing civil. That makes them look weak. Republicans have created this position that either Democrats will continue to look weak, and no one takes them seriously any more. Or they look like troublemakers.

And it's about time Democrats started to look like Troublemakers. Like when you stood up to that bully in school even though you were assured it was going to result in a punch to the face. Sometimes you need to take that bruise to get respect.

Then you could say the same things about Cruz when he stood up and forced a shutdown. I don't see how dem not causing a shutdown would make them look weak, would anyone think in the next election "oh I'm not gonna vote dem since they didn't let government shutdown"?

About time Dems grew a backbone. Trump is a fucking grifter, he never planned on negotiating a DACA deal in good faith.

Meiam:

ObsidianJones:

Here's the issue.

No one wants this to happen. But the Republicans still need to start thinking about all walks of life in this country, not just the ones that they care about.

And Democrats can't keep backing down for the sake of appearing civil. That makes them look weak. Republicans have created this position that either Democrats will continue to look weak, and no one takes them seriously any more. Or they look like troublemakers.

And it's about time Democrats started to look like Troublemakers. Like when you stood up to that bully in school even though you were assured it was going to result in a punch to the face. Sometimes you need to take that bruise to get respect.

Then you could say the same things about Cruz when he stood up and forced a shutdown. I don't see how dem not causing a shutdown would make them look weak, would anyone think in the next election "oh I'm not gonna vote dem since they didn't let government shutdown"?

They might say "I'm not going to vote Dem because what the fuck is the point if they don't fight for what I want?"

Serious question, who's to blame for this, and why?

NemotheElvenPanda:
Serious question, who's to blame for this, and why?

I'd blame Trump, specifically. The Senate actually had a Budget Deal that included DACA and some funding for the Wall that Trump said he supported, but then he changed his mind (and he made his infamous 'Sh*thole Countries' Comments when throwing the deal out). And this sent the House and the Senate scrambling, and led to this mess.

The Republicans are going to try their hardest to spin this as the Democrats fault, but considering Republicans joined them in voting down the CR, it's not really their fault at all.

NemotheElvenPanda:

They might say "I'm not going to vote Dem because what the fuck is the point if they don't fight for what I want?"

Nobody want the government to shut down and the democrats didn't get what they wanted anyway. This isn't fighting for what there constituent want, this is just fighting a losing battle which leaves everyone worse off. And the point for voting dem is pretty straightforward, if they get 60 seats in the senate, this won't happen again.

At this point, with a Rusisan blackmail puppet "in charge" im okay with a shut down.

So government shutdowns are officially an legitmate and moral tool with which to push a political agenda now...

thanks republicans for unleashing the genie out of the bottle.....

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