Funding for most federal agencies expires on December 11
U.S. Congress kicks off a two-week sprint on Monday to save the federal government from partial closure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Funding for almost all federal agencies expires on December 11. According to an assistant to one of the Democratic congressmen, the negotiators have made progress on the distribution of approximately $ 1.4 trillion for the current fiscal year, but a number of details have yet to be agreed, and the final vote in the Senate and House of Representatives may be postponed until the last days until deadline.
It remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump, who was defeated in the November 3 election, will lend his support to the efforts of Congress..
If the current convocation of the Congress fails to reach an agreement on the budget, then this issue will have to be resolved by the new convocation, which will take up its duties in early January..
Trump has already warned that he will veto the defense budget bill if it includes a provision to remove Confederate names from military base names..
Failure to agree on the budget will have serious consequences, including for healthcare facilities, which may lose some of their staff amid the ongoing fight against the pandemic..
The budget bill could also allocate billions of dollars for vaccination programs between states and municipalities..
In addition to fighting the pandemic, the shutdown will affect the operation of airports, national parks and many other programs, which will further damage the economy..
The record-breaking shutdown in US history lasted from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, when Democrats and Trump could not agree on financing the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico..
This time, Republicans want to commit $ 2 billion to build a barrier that most Democrats and some Republicans see as ineffective in preventing illegal immigration..
Key leaders say they’ve reached deal to avoid shutdown
Another controversial issue – allocation of funds to accommodate detained immigrants.
In addition, there is controversy over issues such as family planning, education and conservation efforts. If they cannot be resolved by December 11, the only way to avoid the shutdown is by adopting a temporary budget..
The question of adopting a separate bill providing for measures of economic assistance in connection with the pandemic also remains open. So far, there are no signs of progress, and many believe the new economic aid package will be the first item on the new administration’s agenda..
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Natalka Pisnya (real name and surname). Journalist, specialization – Russian investigation, economics, domestic and international American politics, relations between the United States, Ukraine and Russia. She worked in the Washington bureau of the BBC, headed the American bureau of the Ukrainian television company 1 + 1, covered 2 Ukrainian revolutions, worked in the East of Ukraine, collaborated with Ukrainian television channels TVi, “Channel 5”, ICTV, weekly “Mirror of the Week” and web portal “New time”. Came to journalism in 1997. On "Voice of America" – since 2018.