October 19, 2021
  • October 19, 2021

Playing Politics | Richmond Free Press

By on September 30, 2021 0

Another US government shutdown is imminent this week if Senate Republicans do not end their blockade of a deal to fund government operations beyond the last day of the federal fiscal year, September 30.

While it’s easy to distract our attention from the train wreck that’s about to happen in Washington, we remind our readers that this Republicans-making crisis has far-reaching implications that will have a far greater impact than our 155,600 and more working fellow citizens. for the federal government or the 2.1 million federal workers across the country.

What we’re talking about is an immediate impact on families who would be without paychecks for as long as the shutdown lasts. It is estimated that about 60 to 70% of federal employees nationwide would be put on leave during a shutdown, with only “essential” workers still showing up for work.

These essential workers include federal law enforcement and border protection officials; prison guards and directors; air traffic controllers; medical staff in veterans hospitals and other federal facilities; and possibly those from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that would not include any of the clerks or support workers in any of those offices.

Some federal offices and operations would be closed, or partially closed, if no agreement is reached by Congress to extend government funding beyond midnight on Thursday. National historic sites, museums and parks would be closed, for example.

According to the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, new demands and claims for Social Security and Medicare may not be processed; provision of food stamps to 42 million beneficiaries could be delayed; Mortgage and other loan applications would be suspended because the Internal Revenue Service and / or Social Security would not be available to verify income and other information.

In this area, federal properties such as Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site and Richmond Battlefield National Park would be closed. Federal inspections of food quality and safety, agriculture and the environment could be halted, including inspections of drinking water and hazardous waste.

In addition to federal employees, hundreds of thousands of federal contractors and their families would also be caught in the crisis, as payments to people and businesses that provide goods and services to the US government would be suspended.

When federal workers and contractors are not paid, there is a huge ripple effect. No paycheck to federal workers can mean homeowners, mortgage companies, utility companies and credit card companies won’t get paid, experts warn. Small businesses such as cafes and restaurants that depend on federal employee dollars for lunch, take-out, or shopping might not be able to stay afloat.

This is not the first time the country has faced a government shutdown. The latest, a record 35-day shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and reduced economic growth in the last three months of 2018 by $ 3 billion, according to the congressional budget office.

This is yet another crisis in the making of selfish Republicans. They would rather play politics and create chaos like former President Trump did than govern effectively for the good of all.

We applaud U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia for introducing the Stop STUPIDITY law on Wednesday to end future government shutdowns. In his bill, STUPIDITY stands for Shutdowns Transfering Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In Thecoming Years.

“In the past, government closures have left federal employees with no recourse but to drain their savings, drain their credit, or choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their house. head, “said Senator Warner’s legislation announcement.

“The Stop STUPIDITY Act would allow federal workers to continue receiving a paycheck during shutdowns by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous year, with adjustments for inflation. This legislation would fund all aspects of government except the legislative branch and the president’s executive office, effectively forcing Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table without endangering the economy or harming the American public. . “

If lawmakers and the president’s office weren’t paid during a shutdown, it could precipitate positive change and prevent a future shutdown.

We blame Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Senate Minority Leader, for blocking the latest efforts to reach a deal. He and his bunch of GOP disbelievers intend to undermine Democratic President Joe Biden and any Democratic administration – as he tried with former President Obama – by crippling this nation with a shutdown and hurting so many Americans as possible. It is a dangerous political game that we believe will backfire as people recognize the GOP hand behind it.

Senator McConnell and his GOP underlings in the Senate are also aiming to derail the US economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. If the United States does not suspend or increase the debt limit by October 18, the United States risks not paying its debts for the first time in history, which will have serious consequences. economic consequences and make the US dollar less reliable globally.

“The full confidence and credit of the United States would be compromised and our country would likely face a financial crisis and economic recession,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress earlier this week.

We call on our readers to contact Senator McConnell’s office and those of other GOP Senators and demand that they cease their efforts to destroy the fiscal health and welfare of our nation and its people. We demand that they approve the funding to expand government operations and also raise the debt ceiling.

We also call on our readers to contact the two Virginia Senators, Democratic Senators Warner and Tim Kaine, and demand that they put pressure on Senator McConnell and his fellow Republicans to stop playing politics with our lives. . The consequences of inaction are too critical to ignore.

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