Congress Cowers In Face of Economic Downfall
In order to avoid a total shutdown of the US Government, the House and Senate have had a lot of work to do these past couple of weeks. As usual, Congress was full of disagreements, each side clearly wanting different things, but seemingly not being able to make a decision. On September 30th, 2021, after much debate and finalization, Congress passed a bill to avoid the government shutdown and allowed for the funding of the government up until December 3rd, 2021. President Biden signed this bill into law the very next day. While this was a victory on one front, this was not the end of it. Not yet, at least.
To accommodate for this additional funding, the debt ceiling needed to be reassessed yet again. With so many disagreements in Congress, there was much to discuss before October 18th. According to a CNBC article by Jacob Pramuk, they need to re-evaluate before this date in order to prevent damages, including the loss of federally-funded jobs, such as construction, money mints, amidst several others, leading to a massive shutdown caused by the economic crisis. On October 7th, 2021, President Biden publicly calls out Republicans, stating “Not only are Republicans refusing to do their job, but they’re also threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job—saving the economy from a catastrophic event.” He also went on to say that he wants this done as soon as possible.
After days of constant bickering and debating and everything in between, on October 12th, 2021, Congress passed a bill, averting a debt default and raising the ceiling, which is now being forwarded to President Biden to sign. For now, the US Government can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on working out a long-term plan to avoid a future shutdown going into 2022 and obtain the necessary funding to achieve such a goal. Only time will tell between now and December 3rd, but until then, the government is open for business, striving to improve an economy hit so badly by the COVID-19 pandemic.