Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

US lawmakers in shutdown showdown ahead of midterm elections

show caption
Senator Joe Manchin, pictured at the White House on August 16, 2022, has called on both sides to drop the "toxic all or nothing" approach to legislation./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 26, 2022 - 10:14 PM

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers negotiated behind the scenes Monday to strike a temporary agreement that would avert a potentially damaging government shutdown, with federal funding due to expire at the end of the working week.

A so-called “continuing resolution” — essentially a stop-gap deal keeping the lights on until mid-December — is likely to include more than $12 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine.

There will also be cash for resettling Afghan refugees, boosting winter heating allowances for low-income families and providing disaster aid in flooded Jackson, Mississippi.

One roadblock however is a piece of legislation Democrats have pledged to attach to the resolution known as the Energy Independence and Security Act 2022, which has opponents on both sides of the political aisle.

The act would speed up the nation’s permitting process for energy infrastructure — both for fossil fuel projects and the clean energy initiatives championed by President Joe Biden.

But Republicans aren’t keen on handing Democrats another legislative victory with around 40 days to go until elections that will decide who controls Congress for the remainder of Biden’s first term.

Liberals are also opposed to the text, spearheaded by West Virginia Democrat and fossil fuel magnate Senator Joe Manchin, arguing that it will lead to more oil and natural gas drilling.

Manchin called on both parties to “ignore the toxic ‘all or nothing’ legislative approach that has made it hard to discern what is truly essential for our nation” in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

Although prospects for a shutdown always raise pulses as the deadline approaches — the fiscal year ends at midnight on Friday going into Saturday — analysts see such an outcome so close to the election as highly unlikely.

If the energy measure fails in a Senate vote Tuesday, analysts expect it simply to be dropped and for the main vote on government funding to go ahead without it.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has warned members that the chamber will stay in session through Saturday if necessary.

Shutdowns threaten the finances of hundreds of thousands of government workers who risk being sent home without pay as parks, museums and other federal properties close.

There have been no shutdowns so far under Biden, although his predecessor Donald Trump saw two, including a 35-day shutdown from late 2018 to early 2019 that was the longest in US history.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.