Sunday, October 1, 2023

United States under threat of budget paralysis

The United States once again faces the danger of a political-financial impasse: Congress risks causing a paralysis of the federal State in less than two weeks, by failing to agree on a new budget.

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Several competing budget bills are currently being debated in Washington, and none of them have enough votes to pass the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-held House of Representatives.

Parliamentarians have until midnight on September 30 to reach an agreement; Otherwise, all funding for federal services will be suddenly cut.

Ministries, but also national parks, some museums and a multitude of organizations would be affected, forcing hundreds of thousands of employees into technical unemployment.

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Despite strong partisan divisions, most elected officials on both sides do not want this situation, which is extremely unpopular. But several Trumpist elected officials are determined to play spoilsport, opposing every bill up for debate for the moment.

“With less than two weeks left until the end of the fiscal year, extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are playing with people’s lives,” the White House charged in a statement Tuesday.

Aid to Ukraine is uncertain

This budget crisis could have direct repercussions on the war in Ukraine: the White House has demanded that the finance law approved by elected officials include $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Kiev. An envelope supported by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, but radically opposed by Trumpist elected officials in the House.

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“I will not vote to give a single cent to the war in Ukraine,” elected official Marjorie Taylor Greene, very close to former President Donald Trump, declared on X (ex-Twitter) on Tuesday.

Will his visit end the crisis? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to the US capital on Thursday for new talks with President Joe Biden about supporting Kiev against the Russian invasion.

“At the very moment that President Zelensky comes to the United States to justify the need to stand firm against Putin, the Republican leaders in the House essentially tell him ‘deal with it,'” denounced the leader of the Democrats in the Senate. Chuck Schumer.

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The debt crisis in June

This is the second time in just a few months that the world’s largest economy has faced the danger of a financial impasse.

The United States already avoided a default in June after long negotiations between the Biden administration and conservatives.

A default would have been unprecedented, while the United States has already experienced several more or less prolonged periods of “shutdown,” of budget paralysis.

The winter “shutdown” of 2018, the longest to date, wreaked havoc on baggage checks at airports in the middle of the holiday season.

This time, “each week of the administration’s budget paralysis will cost the US economy $6 billion,” predicts Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY.

Times of National
Times of National
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