The government may have to close its doors Saturday. If Congress cannot pass a new spending bill and get it signed by the president by midnight Friday, then the government will shut down. Not all of the government will close, though. Federal workers who are considered to be essential will keep working and key government operations like national security and law enforcement will also stay on the job.
The House is trying to get a continuing resolution voted on by the end of Thursday. It would keep the government running through February 16. Although the Republicans can get a vote passed in the house on a party-line vote, the Senate will need Democrats to help pass a short-term spending bill. It will take 60 votes to pass the Senate and the Senate is split 51-49 with the Republicans in the majority.
Border security and DACA are major sticking points for reaching a deal. The president wants the border wall which the Democrats strongly oppose. The Democrats appear to be ready to shut down the government if DACA is not reauthorized, but the president will only agree to a deal on DACA in exchange for the wall. So, as an incentive to Democrats to vote for it, the continuing resolution will reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years.
Finger pointing has already started if the government shuts down. According to CNBC, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid the blame on Democrats, claiming that they have fabricated an imigration crisis over DACA. Conversely, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer believes that a shutdown of the government “will fall squarely on the majority leader’s shoulders and the president’s shoulders.” The question now is: Who will be at fault if the government shuts down: the Republicans or the Democrats?
Fortune Magazine covered the potential government shutdown:
Who will be at fault if there is a government shutdown? Will the Republicans be at fault since they have control of the White House and Congress? Or, will the Democrats be at fault for being obstructionists?