Government Shutdown Looms

Sep 27, 2013

The U.S. Capitol.
Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

In a rare weekend session, Congress will continue to debate how to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate voted along party lines for a temporary spending bill that would keep the government from shutting down next week. But Senate Democrats stripped a provision that would defund Obamacare, something House Republicans insist upon.

So a standoff continues that may not be resolved by midnight on Monday. That’s when the federal government runs out of money.

Senator Chris Murphy is concerned about a shutdown’s effect on the state’s defense industry. “You’ll have a bunch of civilians who will be furloughed," he said, "who won’t get paychecks. You’ll certainly have some problems with defense contracts if the furloughs were to last long. But it will suck millions and millions of dollars out of the economy even if it only lasts for a day or so.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal said damage has already been done. “The threat of a shutdown undermines, inhibits, and undercuts jobs, economic growth, and business investment," he said, "because it undercuts uncertainty. It undermines the certainty that businesses need to go forward.”

Since Congress can’t agree on a bill that would continue to fund the federal government for a few more months, some hope for a shorter-term deal. But even that idea may fall victim to partisanship.