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A possible “shutdown” in the US is approaching

A possible “shutdown” in the US is approaching

In the United States, a potential shutdown of government business — the so-called shutdown — is looming. The U.S. government announced on Thursday that a “shutdown” for federal agency workers appeared imminent, as several U.S. media outlets reported in unison. This means millions of employees and military personnel can no longer be paid.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress must agree on a solution before Sunday to prevent a shutdown of government business. The budget, approved by the US Congress at the end of last year, expires at the end of this month – Sunday night. A new federal budget must be approved by the end of September to prevent bankruptcy.

Same game every year

The political battle repeats itself every year — usually Congress passes a midterm budget, then fights again in a few months over funding government operations. This time the situation is special because the Republican Party has only a narrow majority in the US House of Representatives and the factions are very fragmented.

Emergency shutdown plans are in the drawer

Many ministries and authorities have contingency plans in case of a shutdown. For example, members of the military may be expected to continue serving. The federal police, the FBI and the NSA secret service are also exempt from the shutdown. During a “shutdown,” offices and officials are closed, as are federally owned museums and other recreational facilities. The longest “strike” in the country’s history occurred at the beginning of 2018/2019. Parts of the U.S. government stalled for more than five weeks amid controversy over the wall proposed by then-President Donald Trump.

Negotiations on a budget compromise continued in Congress on Thursday. Special attention is being paid to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. As parts of his party refused to support him, the Republican only came into office at the beginning of the year after 15 rounds of voting. McCarthy eventually made major concessions to the extremists in his caucus. They are now pitted against each other over the budget dispute and pressure on McCarthy.

(Source: APA)

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