Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Impasse in Congress leaves US again near federal shutdown

For the fourth time in four months, the US Congress is on the verge of bringing the federal government to a halt due to a lack of funds due to an intense dispute between Republicans and Democrats, but also within the legislative majority itself.
The eternal return of the deadlines indicates the instability of the budget process in the United States, even though, as it does now, the same party controls the White House and the two chambers of Congress.
In February, congress members agreed on total spending by the end of fiscal year 2018 (through September 30) and 2019 (October 2018 through September 2019), approving a similar increase in military and non-military budgets, following a balance that reconciled right and left.
But negotiations on the fate of more than $ 1 billion in 2018, ministry by ministry, line by line, has sparked a spiral of conflicts involving ideological disputes and local interests - be it about abortion, immigration, or the financing of a new railway tunnel in New York. 
The deadline for resolving the monstrous problem of federal government funding law is this Friday at midnight.  
After the deadline, administrations are no longer funded and need to be partially closed. This happened briefly in January and February. 
In both cases, the legislators eventually approved temporary appropriations and postponed the deadline in a few weeks, hoping that a further period of negotiations would lead to a compromise that, to date, seems distant. 

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