This article is over 10 months old Congress is in the midst of an unprecedented debate over immigration. The government has already shut down for 37 days this year. Let’s take a look at what you can expect. The bill now before the Senate is no government shutdown bill, it’s a retreat from government shutdown bill Which proposal is most likely to be the compromise and therefore pass? Again, let’s take a step back:
there are few bills in the Senate that more than a few senators can agree to. (The GOP’s failed healthcare plan was an exception.) Some bills put up for vote get as many as 60 votes in the Senate, meaning not enough opposing senators could derail it. Others get zero. But it’s still unwise to assume they’ll all become law. There are more important things to consider, such as the oddity of lawmakers holding votes in
the face of full-on government shutdowns. (There is no precedent for a government shutdown without a filibuster – on point of order.) A bill is any piece of legislation that is introduced and is currently before the Senate. It is drafted to be reviewed by an up-or-down vote or an up-or-down vote with amendments. What does this legislation do? Currently, the government is funded through 22 March. What’s uncertain is
whether a government shutdown will result. It’s likely, though: the Department of Homeland Security – which oversees law enforcement – is going to continue to be funded. That means about 140,000 border patrol agents and other staff will continue to be paid. But 800,000 federal workers may be furloughed. Can a government shutdown be avoided? A government shutdown happens when a government office is closed. But there
is, typically, an agreement to keep these offices open with continuing resolutions – for a period of time. While they’re in place, it’s normal for agencies to assume they’ll be funded in the future. When the CR expires, there can be disputes and of course, shutdowns. This is a government shutdown bill – what are some of the others? There are federal funds for aid to cities – known as Feds for Cities – that are being
used as a hostage for the latest immigration debate. There is also a government funded by the war budget and by spending from the Department of Defense. And if we keep at federal government funding levels, there will also be a federal fund to keep the Defense Department open. Once all of this is factored in, the federal government should be open with no government shutdowns before 22 March.